Becoming an Anti-racist Organization

Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region is committed to creating and sustaining a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion in our organization and across our communities. This begins with an immediate focus on becoming an anti-racist organization that actively works to dismantle structural and institutional racism and condemns racist practices and behaviors in all forms. With this aim in mind, we will advance and administer anti-racist, equity-based policies and champion diversity and inclusion throughout our organization and the communities we serve.

We have created and are implementing a multi-component and expanding strategy and plan to help us fulfill this commitment. The initial components of our strategy and plan include:

  • Foundational Learning
  • Policy Review, Development, and Practice
  • Recruitment Process
  • Employee Insights
  • Employee Advisory Group
  • Leveraging ED&I Expertise
  • Leadership Development

As we move forward, our strategy and plan will expand, drawing upon input from employees and other key stakeholders and from the evolving dynamics and pressing needs of the communities we serve. We welcome your feedback and input as we take this journey.

Public Statements

February 1, 2021 — Learning about the past is critical to moving forward to become an anti-racist organization.  Specifically, this means learning about the history of systemic and institutional racism that Blacks have suffered for centuries as well as the many achievements and contributions that Blacks have made, despite the racism that they experience even to this day.

black history month web

To recognize and honor Black History Month, we’ve compiled a set of educational resources that we’re sharing with Goodwill employees throughout the month.  We invite you to join us on this critical journey to learn and to take action to eliminate racism and advance equity, diversity, and inclusion for all.

This video provides an excellent set of facts, experiences, and insights from community members about the origin and arc of racism in the city of our founding and central operations: Tacoma, Washington

Monday, February 15th was President’s Day, and as we think about the 46 people who have served as President of the United States of America, we cannot escape the fact that we have had only one President who is Black and have – only now — our first Vice President who is a woman, who is Black, and who is of Asian descent. Why is this? Racism, discrimination, and marginalization have kept people of color from achieving official positions of power in significant numbers for centuries. This has much to do with the story of our country’s founding and development that we were taught in school.

We recommend taking the time to learn more about the reality of our country’s origins and specifically, about the year 1619, when the first Africans were brought to our shores and enslaved. Last year, on the 400th anniversary of this tragic milestone, the New York Times published “The 1619 Project,” which was researched and written by Nikole Hannah-Jones

Take a “virtual” tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, located in Washington D.C.

View a comprehensive timeline of African-American history, which provides a broad overview of the arc of history as well as the opportunity to navigate deeper to learn more about each milestone.

NAACP’s recommendations for how to celebrate Black History Month every day throughout February.

The Equal Justice Initiative created a calendar documenting racial injustices suffered by Blacks on each day of the year over hundreds of years. View more information, or follow the link below to purchase a calendar.

This year’s Black History Month theme: Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity Explore the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.

As the founders of Black History Month, the mission of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH®) is to promote, research, preserve, interpret and
disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.

Goodwill’s Career Hub team has created a three-part series in February featuring Erin Jones and Tyler Monk, who will speak about why working towards equity and justice matters, along with sharing their career journey’s and providing advice to help you reach your employment goals. Each session is free to attend and will be broadcast virtually via Zoom.

January 18, 2021 — On this official holiday commemorating the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region is honoring another critical milestone in our history by announcing that we will formally observe and celebrate the Juneteenth holiday as a paid day off for our employees. 

Juneteenth is the holiday that marks the day — June 19, 1865 — that the last slaves were freed in the United States. As we work toward becoming an anti-racist organization, it is important that we recognize this day, not only in celebration for the freedom it brought, but also in deep regret and sorrow for the horrors and hatred of the slavery system that preceded it and upon which our United States was built. It is equally important to take this time to recognize the continued racism and injustices that have continued in our country – despite the abolition of slavery – and the urgency and criticalness of eliminating racism in all its forms.

We commemorate this monumental day with full understanding that racism continues to afflict our communities and that our work to become an anti-racist organization has just begun. We call on all members of the community to join the effort to recognize this holiday and continue the work to ensure equity for Black Americans and all people of color. Only together can we bring about the change demanded for a just, fair, and equitable society.

May 31, 2020 — Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region is outraged over the murder of George Floyd and other senseless acts of violence against African Americans and all people of color. As a part of the vibrant and diverse community we serve, we grieve and join our voice in calling for unity with all who want to build a better world. That starts with each one of us speaking out against hatred and using our privilege to defend those without power. Goodwill stands ready to work alongside communities of color to put an end to systemic racism and injustice.

The following statement is posted in all of our stores, our work opportunity centers, and offices.

May 31, 2020 — Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region does not tolerate racism in any form, including racist behavior or language at any time. We are outraged over the murders and other senseless acts of violence against African Americans and all people of color. As a part of the vibrant and diverse community we serve, we grieve and join our voice in calling for unity with all who want to build a better world. That starts with each one of us speaking out against hatred and actively working to put an end to systemic racism and injustice.

Organizational Policies

Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion for all.  This commitment is foundational to our ability to realize our vision alongside community partners and deliver our mission to all we serve. We have instituted and strengthened a number of organizational policies and will continue to evaluate our policies and practices going forward.

To help guide us on our journey in becoming an anti-racist organization, we have developed a strategy map that provides an overview of how we will build anti-racism work into the foundation of our organization and integrate strategies and actions throughout all aspects of our operations and service.

Educational Resources

We are proactively gathering and sharing resources from leading experts on eliminating racism and advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion for all. Here is the first resource we are sharing, which is a guide for us as we seek to become an anti-racist organization. If you have resources you would like to contribute, please contact us.

Community Engagement

A number of community organizations have taken a stance against racism. Below are just a few of those organizations. If you have statements you would like us to post, please contact us.