Skip to main content

The Washington State 2022 Governor’s Equity Summit

December 7, 2022

By Emily Boone

Department of Corrections

Presentations being performed on stage

Presentations are conducted at Governor Inslee’s 2022 Equity Summit, November 30, 2022. (Photo courtesy of DOC Communications Office)

On November 30, DOC staff had the privilege of attending Governor Inslee’s 2022 Equity Summit, hosted by the Office of Equity. The inaugural event brought together other state agencies and community members to work toward achieving equity in our state, so everyone has a fair chance to live out their dreams and thrive in business, school, work and life.

Nearly 1,000 participants came together to evaluate the progress and identify areas of improvement for state agencies.

“We don’t break centuries of habit and thinking, unless we decide to break the chains of that history. So that is why we’re here today, to really consciously, intentionally, bring equity and justice toward the way we do business,” said Gov Inslee. “There is an obvious reason for doing this work, because we really believe in justice. We really believe in fairness. We believe in what [Dr. Karen A. Johnson] is talking about, which is to give everybody an opportunity to fulfill their destiny where it wants to be... When we do this, we perform better for the people in the state of Washington.”

Through several facilitated workgroups, recommendations were provided directly to Gov. Inslee on achieving equity in public contracting, education, employment and services:

  • High-priority race and gender-neutral measures to standardize in public contracting:
    • Increase state awarded contracts and spending with small and diverse businesses
    • Increase education and empowerment within agencies and organizations and for small businesses and contractors
    • Reduce barriers for contracting
  • High-priority measures for achieving equity in public education:
    • Increase equity in pre-k through 12 funding
    • Create and implement culturally relevant curriculum
    • Evaluate and make recommendations to change how student success is measured
  • High-priority measure for achieving equity in public employment:
    • Increase the diversity, equity and inclusion for all by looking at how we train employers
  • High-priority measures for achieving equity in public services:
    • Increase our statewide emergency preparedness continuing operations posture with lessons learned so we become a proactive society for all Washingtonians to be prepared and able to thrive
    • Increase the number of mobile health supports for whatever the health determinant is
    • Increase equity in housing
    • Reduce housing displacement due to rent increases and financial emergencies

These high-priority measures each have action items and metrics for agencies to follow. Gov. Inslee, through Executive Order 22-02, plans to hold state leaders accountable for achieving equity in Washington. DOC is committed to promoting strategies that create an equitable, diverse, inclusive, respectful and anti-racist culture to positively change lives. Part of this work is identified in the agency’s strategic plan and Pro-Equity Anti-Racism (PEAR) Plan. DOC will continue the journey toward fostering a system that enhances our culture and improves community outcomes.

If you were unable to participate, you can watch recordings of portions of the summit available on TVW: