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Honoring our Civil Rights Legacy

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February 13, 2020

On January 29, Blacks in Government (BIG) and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) at the Port of Seattle hosted a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy and recognized Council member Larry Gossett and his championship of the many civil rights issues that he tackled on behalf of communities of color in King County for the last 30 years. 

More than 80 people gathered to hear from the Port’s Blacks in Government Chapter President Delmas Whittaker and Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle President and CEO Michelle Y. Merriweather as they reflected on Dr. King’s impact and shared a few of the Port’s initiatives to improve equity in the Seattle region. 

Port Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck awarded former King County Council member Larry Gossett with a proclamation to honor his decades of tireless work to improve economic and housing equity for African Americans and other underrepresented communities in Seattle. Mr. Larry Gossett movingly described his early influences as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Harlem and his meeting with Dr. King in Seattle. 

Poets Sharon Nyree Williams and Naa Akua inspired the crowd as they performed with strength, passion, and presence. Port Executive Director Steve Metruck attended the event along with five Port Commissioners, standing in solidarity with OEDI and BIG and demonstrating strong leadership support for OEDI’s efforts. 

This celebration marks the first time OEDI and BIG have partnered to honor Dr. King, and based on the success, OEDI looks forward to many more opportunities to collaborate in the future. 

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