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Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group

Learn more about about our Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group.

In early March 2020, Public Health — Seattle & King County convened representatives from various community, business, and government sectors in King County who are working together to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by accelerating the use of the recommended and required community mitigation strategies.

Committed to two-way communication, the Advisory Group helps share information and urge action within their respective networks, and also informs Public Health on what they are seeing on the ground – both challenges and opportunities. We work to help prevent, interrupt, and respond to misinformation and stigma.

Meeting presentation materials

Information about COVID-19 is changing frequently. Guidance found in these presentations may be outdated. Please consult the COVID-19 homepage for the most current information.

April 4, 2024 (531 KB)

  • Conflict resolution training
  • State policy updates
  • New member updates

February 1, 2024 (2.6 MB)

  • Public Health budget and reductions updates

January 4, 2024 (2.1 MB)

  • Community Health Services Overview


In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was rapidly unfolding in King County, Public Health-Seattle & King County convened a multisector table of community, business, and public sector representatives who worked to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus by accelerating the adoption of community mitigation strategies. Five months later, community representatives and Public Health came together to revisit, reframe, and expand the advisory group’s purpose, in large part driven by the need to address regional racial inequities in COVID-19 and other health outcomes more effectively. In addition, to achieve its revised goals, the advisory group modified its approach from being led solely led by Public Health, to being co-led by community representatives and Public Health. Finally, it modified its name to “Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group” (PARCAG) to better reflect its expanded intent.

Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group Member Roster (160 KB)


(Developed in August 2020, updated April 2024.)

The Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group works to identify, inspire, and mobilize bold solutions in response to the urgent, interconnected crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism. 

As an advisory group, we believe all King County residents should have equitable opportunity for health and well-being, and therefore focus this work on historically marginalized people and communities who are disproportionately impacted by these crises. 

We seek solutions that respond in the near-term to the crises in front of us, and solutions that will prevent similar crises from continuing to unfold in the future by challenging the systems and practices that underlie these unacceptable, disproportionate impacts. By intentionally capturing and acting on lessons learned along the way, we will recover and rebuild toward an inclusive, anti-racist future.  

How we work

  • By centering on Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
  • By guiding Racism is a Public Health Crisis work both internally and externally. 
  • By recognizing the intersectionality of people’s overlapping identities and experiences –such as race, ethnicity, disability, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, class, and other identities– and its role in discrimination, oppression, access, and privilege.   
  • By creating effective feedback loops and partnerships among community, business, and public sectors–to disseminate accurate information that is culturally appropriate, that is accessible to those with disabilities, and that provides for language access; to counter misinformation and stigma, to document lessons learned; to influence and advise on solutions; and to help save lives. 
  • By a co-powered leadership structure that positions communities as drivers of change by building from their long-term experiences and knowledge. 
  • By holding King County and Public Health – Seattle & King County accountable to its public commitment to work over the long-term in stronger, better resourced, and true partnerships with community to disrupt and dismantle the oppressive, racist systems it has been complicit in maintaining.  

PARCAG membership: PARCAG members are recruited with the intention to center Black, Indigenous and People of Color, with a substantial majority of the membership among these groups. PARCAG members typically represent an organization, since the group works on policy and systems changes; but individual members are invited to participate to expand representation. 

Leadership structure and staffing

Steering Committee

The Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group is led by a Steering Committee. Steering Committee members work together to: 

  • Co-plan the agendas for Advisory Group meetings – determine meeting priorities, approach, facilitation, and intended outcomes 
  • Strategize on follow-up activities outside of meetings to address issues raised
  • Help co-facilitate Advisory Group meetings and Steering Committee meetings
  • Determine meeting frequency
  • Establish, when and if needed, subgroups/subcommittees to carry out agreed-upon activities
  • Periodically review and update membership of the Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group
  • Learn and adjust, making recommendations about modifications to the overall approach to the Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group and to its leadership structure.

The Steering Committee is comprised of six individuals – five from Advisory Group members who represent community-based entities, and one from Public Health – Seattle & King County.
For the five community seats, representatives will serve two- or three-year terms; this will allow different voices to rotate on and off the steering committee. The Steering Committee will stagger member turnover, with one or two membership changes per year.

As of April 2024, the Steering Committee members are: Bereket Kiros, COVID-19 Community Response Alliance and the Coalition of Immigrants, Refugees and Communities of Color (CIRCC); Michelle Merriweather, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle; Kalika Curry, Eastside Pathways; Yordanos Teferi, Community Health Board Coalition; Martha Zuniga, Entre Hermanos; and Matias Valenzuela, Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Community representatives on the Advisory Group who are not currently serving on the Steering Committee are welcome to observe Steering Committee meetings, and will be provided meeting information on request. Any Advisory Group member may offer suggestions to the Steering Committee.

Decision making

For issues that may arise where an agreement is needed to move forward, the Advisory Group and its Steering Committee intend to use a consensus decision-making process.


Public Health – Seattle & King County intends to provide staffing and logistics support for meetings of the Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group and its Steering Committee.

Meeting frequency

PARCAG meetings are once per month on the first Thursday of the month from 10:30 am to noon. The Steering Committee meets once per month, on the fourth Thursdays of the month from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. 


Steering Committee members are compensated for their time, expertise, connections and advice. Steering Committee members are paid $60/hour for six hours per month ($360/month or $4,320/year). Stipends are available on request to support participation of community-based representatives in the Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group. [Note: funding for stipends is currently available through May 2025; it is expected to continue but this is contingent on budget approval.]