Race and social justice on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King JR Memorial dedication plaque – Photo by TIA International Photography

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022, the Seattle Fire Department would like to highlight the department’s Race and Social Justice Change Team and its efforts to eliminate race-based disparities and achieve racial equity.

The Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) ​is a citywide effort to end institutionalized racism and race-based disparities in city government. RSJI builds on the work of the civil rights movement and the ongoing efforts of individuals and groups in Seattle to confront racism. The initiative’s long term goal is to change the underlying system that creates race-based disparities in our community and to achieve racial equity.

The Seattle Fire Department’s Race and Social Justice Change Team is made up of uniformed and civilian employees who work together to challenge injustice and advance equity within the department and in the communities we serve.

Some of the recent work by the Race and Social Justice Change Team includes:

  • Facilitating training for new firefighter recruits about the history of racism in the U.S. using the Race the Power of Illusion video series 
  • Supporting and informing recruitment and hiring efforts for historically underrepresented members of our community for the fire service
  • Assisting the department in applying a racial equity lens to current and new programs, practices, policies and procedures

This important work is challenging and ongoing and requires truthful conversations and analysis about the underlying conditions that continue to perpetuate racism and other forms of oppression in our society.

List of local events to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day

Guide to local events to celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the South Seattle Emerald