Skip to main content
King County logo

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable … Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Employee Resource Groups (ERG), also known as Affinity Groups, focus exclusively on protected categories of people as defined by federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws. Affinity Groups address racism and other forms of oppression to advance the county’s equity and social justice goals. Affinity Groups must support the advancement of the King County Equity and Social Justice Strategic plan or the department specific plan, if the group is only open to members of a department.

AG_relationalflow

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

An Employee Resource Group (ERG), also known as an Affinity Group, is an employee-led group formed around shared interests, issues, and backgrounds. King County ERGs focus exclusively on protected categories as defined by federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws. Protected category-specific ERGs address racism and other forms of oppression to advance the county’s equity and social justice goals.

Career service and appointed employees may participate with manager approval. This includes:

• Employees on their initial probation
• Limited temporary employees
• Short-term temporary employees
• Interns

ERGs help ensure an inclusive environment where all are valued and empowered to succeed and:
• Promote equity and social justice
• Foster employee engagement
• Strengthen workplace effectiveness
• Enhance personal and professional growth
Employees must have manager approval to participate in an ERG. Contact the ERG representative of the group you’d like to join for information about meeting times and group member agreements. If an employee wants to “try out” an ERG, they may attend two ERG meetings on a trial basis. If the employee wishes to continue attending, the manager must sign the employee’s ERG participation approval form (see form in "Quick Links" at the top of this page).
For a countywide ERG, submit a proposal to the Office of Equity and Social Justice. The proposal must have an executive sponsor who is a member of the Executive Branch cabinet and approval from the Director of the Office of Equity and Social Justice. For department-level ERGs, the department director or designee must approve the request.

Native American Leadership Council (NALC)

MISSION

The King County Native American Leadership Council is a forum where First Nations, Indigenous people and our allies can come together to build community, leadership, employee enrichment and cultural preservation.

GOALS

Our mission revolves around the following central goals:

  • To increase the visibility of American Indians, Alaskan Natives, First Nations, Native Hawaiian and indigenous issues and initiatives within local, state and federal governments and their surrounding and tribal communities.
  • To promote, further and strengthen Equity and Social Justice.
  • To provide educational opportunities that further awareness and recognize the contributions of Indigenous people.
  • To enhance the recognition and reputation of King County in American Indians, Alaskan Natives, First Nations and Native Hawaiian and other Indigenous communities.
  • To support and increase Native American recruitment and retention.
  • To provide a safe and positive workspace that is respectful, inclusive and welcoming.
MEMBERS

Our membership is made up of American Indian, Alaska Native and Indigenous employees and community leaders, and our allies across King County departments and Seattle/King County population.

AG_Graphic_NALC

Asian Pacific Islander (API)

Name

The official name is Asian Pacific Islander (API) Affinity Group

Mission

Our mission in the API Affinity Group is to create a community where we can:

  • Build a community of API employees to identify and implement pro-equity, anti-racist actions across King County;
  • Lead change in equitable policies and procedures that impact the API community;
  • Achieve representation and recognition in decision making;
  • Support opportunities for leadership, career development, and growth for API employees;
  • Liberate the API narrative and interrupt internalized racial inferiority/superiority, stereotypes and;
  • Educate non-API communities by promoting and advancing equity and social justice change at the individual, organizational, and community levels.
Values
  • Stay respectful to self and each other
  • Create a brave space of support and belonging
  • Learn from and with each other
  • Practice shared leadership and engagement
  • Build and nurture strong, inclusive relationships
  • Collaborate to embrace all ideas, talents, and input
Purpose

The Asian Pacific Islander (API) Affinity Group is committed to helping our community thrive and celebrate our diverse cultures. We come together to network, learn, build common ground, collaborate, share resources, grow professionally, and support one another.

Goals
  • For our group: We are rooted in love and relationship building, commit to understanding, learning more, and inspiring those to do the same.
  • For King County: We seek to interrupt racism and white privilege in King County workplaces and service delivery by communicating awareness and truth with people across all cultures. By working with senior leadership to support the efforts of the group and collaborating with other affinity groups, we advocate for cultural change within King County, the equitable distribution of professional development resources, and serve as a resource to inform efforts within King County.
  • For our community: We aim to advance equity and social justice across King County by offering our voices where they are often overlooked. Whether that be through cultural and technical support, such as translation or representation, or participating in other types of community stewardship, such as volunteering, event sponsorship and coordination, we aim to increase our visibility within the community.
All members

All King County employees who self-identify as being Asian and/or Pacific Islander and who are committed to the vision and mission are welcome to join. To be an active member, we ask that you review and agree to the Group Charter and participate in the agreements.

Leadership Structure

The API Affinity Group has a shared leadership structure, with members volunteering to facilitate the monthly meetings and supporting functions of the group.

Contact Info
AG_Graphic_API

Anti-Racist White Action Group (ARWAG)

Name

The official name is King County Anti-Racist White Action Group

Mission

ARWAG’s mission is to ready, support, and guide white-identifying employees to be constructively useful and active in anti-racism efforts in King County.

Values/Principles

Intentionally in development - ARWAG is creating values/principles to focus on:

  • Members are encouraged and expected to engage in continuous education to gain awareness, competencies, skills, and abilities.
  • All members are expected to engage in activities that identify and interrupt racism and white privilege in King County workplaces and service delivery.
  • Collaborate with, take guidance from, and support other Employee Resource and affinity Groups (ERGs) toward pro-equity and anti-racist institution and system changes.
  • Among white-identifying employees, increase the awareness of white privilege and build readiness to interrupt privilege and racism.
  • Build a community of white-identifying members who support and hold one another accountable to identify and implement pro-equity and anti-racist actions in our agencies and communities.
  • Unpack and interrupt internalized racial superiority in ourselves.
All Members

All King County employees who identify as white and are interested in the mission and purpose of the group are invited and welcome. Membership is voluntary. Members can use up to three work hours a month to participate in ARWAG meetings and activities. Time spent in ARWAG meeting and activities is not eligible for overtime.

Leadership Committee and Structure

ARWAG has a shared leadership structure, with members volunteering to facilitate the monthly meeting. A planning group - open to all members - provides support via outreach to new members, MS Teams site support for meeting facilitators (regarding guest speakers, readings and community building ideas), meeting scheduling, and serving as a liaison between ARWAG, other Employee Resource Groups, and the King County Office of Equity and Social Justice.

Contact for ARWAG Leadership Team: ARWAG@kingcounty.gov

Current leadership members
  • Richard Gelb
  • Rachel Miles
  • Steve Klusman
  • Barbara Ramey
  • Therese (Teri) Bednarski
AG_Graphic_ARWAG

Black / African

The Black African Affinity Group (BAAG) is a collective that recognizes the importance of centering our cultural strength through community. We are comprised of employees of the Black culture, including but not limited to those of African, Caribbean, European African, Afro-Hispanic and African American backgrounds.

Officer Positions:

  • Co-Chairs: Debra Baker
  • Co-Chairs: Jabari Hampton
  • Chair-Elect: TBD
  • Treasurer: John Miller (interim)
  • Administrator: Natasha Sable
  • Communications Officer: Jabari Hampton
  • Membership Coordinator: (vacant)
  • Community Health and Outreach Officer: Miesha Vaughn
  • Strategic Advisor: Ebony Frazier
  • Employee Advocacy Officer: Pervis Willis
  • Senior Advisor: Arthur Hendricks
*To join the Black African Affinity Group, contact Jabari Hampton

From its inception, the primary goal of BAAG has been the support and retention of Black employees through a holistic environment. Historically, the focal point of African American life has centered around community such as family, churches, neighborhoods, and volunteer organizations. Community is how we connect, share resources, and share knowledge. We are strongest when we work together, support one another, and lift each other up. Through our culture we will cultivate the success of all Black employees.

At King County having a community to connect with is crucial. This is especially evident in the context of institutional and systemic racism, colorism, and health disparities. The Black/African Affinity Group centers on providing employees with a community platform. We strive to provide opportunities for members to engage, build community and make connections while growing each other culturally, professionally, and socially.

AG_Graphic_BA

Latinx Affinity Group

KCLx has a new website!

Get information about our mission and values, learn more about the affinity group, and keep up with Latinx initiatives and events.

AG_Graphic_Latinx

LGBTQ+

Consistent with King County’s commitment to leading with racial justice and making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive, King County’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group exists at the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. While all LGBTQ+ folks are welcome, this group centers the lived experiences of Black and Indigenous people of color and those who identify as Transgender, Non-binary, Two Spirit, and other non-conforming gender identities.

Contact Information: lgbtq@kingcounty.gov

AG_Graphic_LGBTQ

Military / Vets

Mission Statement: The King County Veterans and Military Affinity Group provides guidance, resources, and mutual support to our network of veteran and military employees. We strive to make King County a more equitable workplace that attracts, retains, and develops veteran and military employees so they may achieve their full potential and thrive.

Motto: Service – Integrity – Commitment – Equity

Values:

  1. We epitomize the core values learned through our military service; showcasing to others the positive impacts that Veterans bring to the King County workplace and community.
  2. Leading with integrity, we uphold King County’s True North vision.
  3. We are committed as guides, mentors, and resources for our fellow Veterans.
  4. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of other Affinity Groups striving to achieve equitable outcomes.

Affinity Group Co-Chair: Renita Borders, Council

Affinity Group Co-Chair: Fred Seaton, DAJD

Membership Chair: Keith Clarke, DHR

Events Chair: Jennifer Broadus, KCIT

Communications & Social Media Chair: Elizabeth Inglese, KCIT

Finance Manager Chair: Van Badzik, Executive Office

Policy Liaison Chair: Chris Franco, Office of Equity & Social Justice

HR Liaison Chair: Susan Navetski, DHR

Content Manager/Administrator Chair: Walt Ames, DHR

To be notified of upcoming meetings, events and other important information, please subscribe to the V-MAG email list by leaving your email address (no phone numbers please)

Contact Information: vet.milag@kingcounty.gov

AG_Graphic_MilitaryVets