Edmonds Diversity Commission names new chair, vice chair for 2018

Diana White
Donnie Griffin

As the Edmonds Diversity Commission enters its third calendar year, it has announced the selection of new 2018 Chair Diana White and Vice-Chair Donnie Griffin.

White is a founding member of the Ccmmission since its inception in 2015. She led efforts to pass an Indigenous Peoples Day Resolution in Edmonds and is interested in issues around diversity, equity and inclusion. She also serves as director on the Edmonds School Board.

“I am honored to have been chosen by my fellow commissioners to serve as chair for 2018 and look forward to another exciting and meaningful year of the commission’s programs, events and activities,” White said.

Griffin was appointed to the commission in December 2016. He retired in 2014 after spending more than 30 years working in business, government and nonprofit organizations, and since then has actively serving his church and on boards. He has also being involved in programs in Seattle aimed at diverting at-risk youth away from criminal behaviors and incarceration.

“Alongside Diana White, I am delighted to be able to serve as vice-chair of the commission this year as we enter yet another year of important, significant work for the community on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity,” Griffin said.

The Edmonds Diversity Commission is a nine-member voluntary advisory body whose mission is to:

  • Serve as a resource for city government and the community by providing information, education, and communication that facilitates a better understanding and celebrates our differences;
  • Provide recommendations to the mayor and city council that would identify opportunities to address diversity issues, promote diversity programs, and/or provide guidance to create a more accessible, safe, welcoming and inclusive government and community; and
  • Assist the City of Edmonds in supporting and challenging all areas of government and the community to eliminate and prevent all forms of discrimination.

The commission has created the following events, programs and activities since 2015:

  • Annual World Café – community conversations about diversity, inclusion and equity
  • Annual Youth Forum – group discussion among middle- and high-schoolers on issues related to diversity, inclusion and equity
  • Marching contingent in the Annual Fourth of July Parade
  • Production of a Diversity Film Series, the first of which has been running since October and will continue through April.  Information may be found at: www.diversity.edmondswa.gov
  • Diversity Grants Program – up to $500 grants may be awarded to local groups to help fund production of events, programs or activities intended to engage Edmonds residents on issues related to diversity, inclusion and equity
  • Promotion of City’s Indigenous People’s Day Resolution
  • Donation of children’s books on diversity topics to Edmonds School District
  • Response and engagement related to emerging incidents in the community
  • Exploration of institutional barriers to diversity, inclusion and equity and consideration of policy recommendations to City leaders

The Diversity Commission meets every first Wednesday of the month from 6-8 p.m. at the Edmonds Senior Center, 220 Railroad Ave. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and are invited to share thoughts, comments and suggestions during the public comment period during the first part of the meeting. Information about the commission, as well as regional resources and events, may be found at www.diversity.edmondswa.gov

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