Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Alliance for Pioneer Square commits to stewarding a neighborhood where the district’s most diverse businesses, residents, and visitors are welcomed and affirmed for whom they are while justly experiencing the many benefits the neighborhood has to offer.

Why this matters

Historically, Pioneer Square has been the site of great harms done to Indigenous, Black, immigrants, and other communities of color in Seattle. Likewise, the layered experiences of women and LGBTQ+ communities in Pioneer Square have often been complicated and troubling. We recognize this and acknowledge these harms have stemmed from white settlement, systemic oppression, and restrictive policies. We also understand that these oppressions persist and their legacies continue to impact many of these populations to this day. Although such stories are increasingly familiar across the country and in neighborhoods throughout Seattle, we believe that the nuanced needs of Pioneer Square’s communities require deliberate attention.

What we’re doing

To do so, the Alliance for Pioneer Square commits to developing and embedding a race and social equity framework within our organization’s foundational statements and will use our position as a leader, advocate, and steward in the neighborhood to support populations within our community who are experiencing barriers to thriving economic and personal growth due to the impacts of historic and ongoing systemic racism and oppression.

In doing this along with local partners, we can collectively work towards a future in which Pioneer Square is even more authentic, engaging, and dynamic than ever before.

To that end, Alliance for Pioneer Square staff, Board of Directors, and BIA Stakeholder Board members will:

  • Acknowledge, affirm, and represent the contributions of the Coast Salish people who have come before us and the culture of the Indigenous communities here now
  • Acknowledge that Pioneer Square has been a place where many diverse communities have called home or have used as a landing place within the region, including the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and African American communities, and those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community
  • Research and better understand the current socioeconomic conditions and experiences of our businesses, employees, and people living (housed & unhoused) in the neighborhood
  • Recruit board members and staff in a manner that is inclusive, accessible, and reflective of the local community
  • Design and implement inclusive strategies within our five program areas that are accessible to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and minority business owners
  • Develop equitable outreach and engagement practices to deliberately connect with populations experiencing barriers to accessing economic resources
  • Build deliberate partnerships with BIPOC and LGBTQ+ led organizations working to support equitable economic development opportunities within the district
  • Embrace and support visible storytelling opportunities featuring the diverse representation within Pioneer Square
  • Develop an organizational race & social equity framework to inform annual work plans.
  • Be transparent with the community about the work that we are doing and continually evaluate our progress

What’s next

We acknowledge that we are in an ongoing process of learning and as we continue to reflect on our position and the privilege we hold as an economic development organization, we will regularly update these commitments. The commitments shared in this document will also be incorporated into updates made to the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s organizational protocols and practices. We look forward to working closely with our community to support and help evolve these efforts.

Lisa Howard
Alliance for Pioneer Square
Executive Director
Grant Wojahn
Azar Koulibaly

Alliance Board of Directors

Aaron Barthel
BIA Stakeholder Board
Board Chair