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Thursday, January 20, 2022
All Day
Free Event

The RSJI Summit is a virtual event that brings City of Seattle employees together to increase our collective capacity for race and social justice work. Here, you’ll find inspiration from local leaders, reflections from community activists, and knowledge from City of Seattle staff who organize for anti-racist change.

The 2022 Summit begins with a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day, featuring remarks from:

  • Mayor Bruce Harrell
  • City Council President Deborah Juarez
  • Michele Storms, Executive Director of ACLU-WA

Open to City of Seattle employees only.



Storytelling, a Multipurpose Tool

Anyone can be a storyteller. Storytelling is one of the most accessible tools we have to fight social injustices, build community, facilitate personal healing for ourselves and others, and inspire. Via partnered, interactive storytelling exercises, participants will  mine their unique lived experience for content and engage their imagination with accessible improv.

In addition to being interactive and fun, this session will provide participants with a toolkit of exercises for future use in public speaking, community-building, and other creative and collaborative endeavors. No prior storytelling experience required. Participants should be prepared to take notes.

Workshop host Sara Porkalob is an award-winning storyteller, activist, and creator of the DRAGON CYCLE. She is a 2021 Princess Grace Award Recipient for Theatre and has been named as one of Seattle Times', “11 Movers and Shakers to Watch This Decade”. Sara will make her Broadway debut in 2022, playing Edward Rutledge in the official revival of 1776. The first two installments of DRAGON CYCLE received 2018 Gregory Awards in 2018 and two Elliot Norton Awards in 2019.


Practicing Self-Care Is Social Justice

Self-care allows us to be a better organizers and leaders. In this workshop, you’ll learn how self-care helps you show up for collective justice and collective care for others. Social worker Bonnie Wang will lead the group in a mindfulness breath exercise, then share her own experiences with burnout. She’ll explain what techniques have helped her manage fatigue and continue to do the work that she loves.

Workshop host Bonnie Wang has 15 years of experience working in community-based organizations with minoritized individuals and families affected by substance use and co-occurring disorders. Ms. Wang is the Clinical Director of Washington Asian Pacific Islander (WAPI) Community Services in Seattle. She also holds adjunct teaching positions at Seattle University, Seattle Central College, and Highline College. She received her Master of Social Work at the University of Washington. Ms. Wang is a Washington State Substance Use Disorder Professional (SUDP), Mental Health Professional, and Nationally certified Master Addiction Counselor (MAC). She is also a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor and a Zumba Instructor. 

About the RSJI Summit

The RSJI Summit and MLK Jr. Unity Day build on the activism of City of Seattle employees who are dedicated to the pursuit of racial equity in government. We reflect on the previous year’s race and social justice work while also looking forward. We set the coming year’s agenda for the continued fight against white supremacy culture and the harm that it causes communities of color.

This event provides an opportunity for City of Seattle staff to come together in ways that move our institution towards being truly inclusive and anti-racist. We also gather for collective care. We reflect and develop strategies for combating the internalized racial oppression, trauma, and burnout that accompanies the work of anti-racist organizing.

In addition, the Summit gives a platform to people and organizations who are doing important work in the community, so that the City of Seattle can better align its racial justice work with local grassroots movements.

Like all race and social justice work, the RSJI Summit is rooted in the collective power of grassroots movements that advocate for systemic change. Our work is indebted to the many activists that came before us, and the many people in Seattle who continue organizing today. They inspire our continued efforts to shift our institution so that government plays its deserved role to ensure that institutional racism can be undone.

More Information

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