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Facilitating Change

The Office of Equity and Human Rights is diligently working to create equitable outcomes and facilitate change both internally and externally. 


Workforce Change

Within the City of Tacoma, there have been changes made internally to help create a more diverse staff with a deeper understanding of equity. Here are some examples of things done internally to help facilitate change:

Equitable Hiring Handbook

The City of Tacoma’s Handbook for Recruiting, Hiring and Retention provides tools staff members can use that will apply an equity lens to the recruiting, interviewing and hiring process. It also provides interview questions and suggestions for creating and maintaining an inclusive work place. 

Equity Champions

The Equity Champions is a group of internal equity advocates (employees from each department) that are working to operationalize equity across all departments. Members are committed to ongoing training and learning about equity, breaking down silos and facilitating interdepartmental collaboration, and serving as leaders in the City’s equity efforts.


The City of Tacoma is committed to providing training and learning opportunities for employees to deepen their understanding of equity and get them engaged in our efforts.


Examples of trainings that are offered to employees include:

  • Race: The Power of an Illusion
  • Equity 101
  • Unconscious Bias

At this time, we are unable to offer these opportunities to our external community partners; however capacity building efforts are underway.

Equitable Budgeting Tools

Using an equitable lens in municipal budgeting means taking a critical look at how resources and investments have currently and historically been allocated and making necessary changes to ensure that all communities receive a fair amount of resource investment. The way we decide to allocate resources directly impacts the daily lives and long term outcomes of our residents.

In preparation for the 2017-2018 Budget Development Process, the Office of Equity and Human Rights collaborated with the Office of Management and Budget to develop a tool for staff to use in an effort to have more equitable budgeting.


Community Engagement

Externally, here are some examples of things done in the community to help facilitate change:

Project PEACE

In May 2015, several leaders in the African American Community met with City leadership and The News Tribune to discuss concerns that the unrest that occurred in Baltimore and Ferguson could happen in Tacoma. City leadership committed to proactively addressing historical and present day sources of community distrust and concerns about inequity and racism in the Criminal Justice System. Project PEACE, Partnering for Equity and Community Engagement, arose out of those discussions.


City leadership convened a planning committee of diverse members to guide the work. The mission of Project PEACE is to build a foundation of trust between historically marginalized communities and law enforcement. Project PEACE was both a dialogue to understand the issues and a research project to inform Tacoma Police Department’s Strategic Planning Process.


Some of the Project’s aims include:

  • Fostering relationships between the Police Department and local community
  • Providing transparency about policing processes and practices, and about ways of engaging the public
  • Allowing the public to provide feedback to be considered during the Tacoma Police Department Strategic Planning Process

Read the full Project PEACE report or visit the Tacoma Police Department's web page to see how they are continuing this initiative.