Tag Archive: racial equity

SNG pushes for Racial Equity within our organization, our movement, and our City

In so many aspects of an individual’s daily life — where they can afford to live, their ability to own a private vehicle, how far they need to go to get to work or even the nearest grocery store, what kind of access they have to the public transit systems, how safe they are when crossing the street, and how they are viewed by law enforcement on our streets — race and racism play a huge role in determining a person’s ability to get where they need to go in Seattle.

A graph showing percentage of pedestrian fatalities relative to population. The graph shows that share of pedestrian fatalities is higher than the relative percentage of population for people who are Native, Hispanic, Black/African American, and 65 and older.

National statistics from Dangerous By Design, 2014 – Smart Growth America.

Only by changing the underlying systems that create race-based disparities in our community can we achieve racial equity.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways works to make every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live — for all people. Achieving this vision requires addressing racial disparities in our transportation systems and accurately advocating for the needs of all communities. As a historically white-led organization working in transportation and environmental movements that are predominantly white, we have both a responsibility to address how systemic racism influences our movements and also the privilege that will help us to make a difference in changing it.

That’s why, at the beginning of 2019, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways ratified a Racial Equity Action Plan. In it, we make two pledges:

  • Internally, SNG commits to becoming a racially, culturally, and socially diverse organization that treats all people with respect and dignity and recognizes the interconnected nature of overlapping systems of oppression and discrimination.
  • Externally, SNG strives to redress the historical and systemically-rooted inequities in transportation and city investments. We endeavor to do this work in solidarity with communities of color as a trustworthy and respectful partner.

Ziyi Liu presents research on feelings towards bike routes in the International District.

We also outline a plan of action over the next three years. This includes individual racial equity plans for our neighborhood groups, many of whom have already begun this important work, as well as continued education, outreach, and relationship-building.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is dedicated to a vision in which every neighborhood in Seattle is a great place to walk, bike, and live. Great places reflect the needs of all people, and lift up their values and culture, because they are co-created by people of every race, age, language, ethnicity, gender, ability, level of wealth, and immigration status. While SNG recognizes that an individual’s intersectional identity impacts their ability to feel safe on the street and in public spaces, this Action Plan focuses intentionally on racial equity — we believe this targeted, race-first approach will ensure that racial equity goals are not diluted, and will provide a foundation for understanding and addressing intersectional challenges related to other forms of oppression.

Three people smile in front of a festively decorated DVSS booth at a summer festival.

We seek participation of people of color as group members, leaders, staff, and partners. We welcome and embrace the diversity of experiences and knowledge of everyone in our city, particularly with regard to race, age, language, ethnicity, gender, ability, level of wealth, and immigration status.

Find out more about our Racial Equity Action Plan here, or get involved in your local Greenways chapter today!