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Port of Seattle Passes Motion to Improve Racial Equity in Its Workplaces

by Elizabeth Turnbull


On Oct. 13, the Port of Seattle Commission passed a motion that aims to promote equity and to stop structural racism in its workplaces by working to eliminate bias, increasing support for the port’s office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and requiring mandatory unconscious bias training for port employees.

Similar to efforts the port began in July to assess its police department, Tuesday’s motion was created in response to ongoing racism across the country and the recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. While he agrees that pushing for change in the port’s policing is a step in the right direction, Sam Cho, one of the port’s commissioners and the only commissioner of color, said he and his colleagues felt the effort was incomplete. 

“The reality is that the fight for racial justice goes well beyond just policing. It’s systemic. It’s institutionalized,” Cho told the Emerald. “So what I said is, ‘Let’s introduce a motion that goes beyond policing and looks at the Port of Seattle holistically and can look to see if we are perpetuating any policies or practices that are contributing to these social injustices.’” 

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