Published May 16 2023
Community engagement opportunities lie ahead
The City of Bellevue’s Diversity Advantage Initiative will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2024, and the city is proud to look back on a decade of progress toward being a more inclusive and welcoming community as it ramps up a number of activities this year to continue and strengthen the mission.
The Diversity Advantage Initiative has been a driving force in shaping the character of Bellevue as a city that recognizes its diversity is its strength.
"We look forward to working closely with the community for the next 10 years and beyond as we build a more equitable, thriving Bellevue through our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging," said Dr. Linda Whitehead, the city’s diversity, equity and inclusion officer.
The Diversity Advantage team is currently working on a series of projects to update and reimagine the Diversity Advantage Plan, which sets the citywide strategic direction for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The team's work centers around community voices and experiences, develops and strengthens key relationships, and deepens the city's commitment to a welcoming, vibrant and livable community.
Another major effort underway now is the Bellevue Centers Communities of Color initiative, which includes a coordinating team of community members now mobilized and preparing to host upcoming community dialogues on race and social justice. This community-led effort is focused on advancing racial equity and promoting social justice in Bellevue, and will help shape updates to the Diversity Advantage Plan.
The community can also look forward to participating in the design for "In Community: Bellevue's Cross-Cultural Center without Walls" to actively share culture, build connections and be in community with each other. The city expects to engage community members and partner organizations to create cross-cultural activities and engagement opportunities with more details to come and information on how to participate being released this summer.
In other, ongoing work, the city continues efforts to serve Bellevue’s diverse communities through the Bellevue Diversity Advisory Network, a 21-member community group that provides counsel to the city on effectively reaching, serving, communicating and collaborating with all of Bellevue's communities. The city also maintains Mini City Hall, a longstanding community service center hub at Crossroads Bellevue.
The city’s commitment to equity and accessibility also extends to city staff members and operational policies. The city has developed stronger language access resources and policies, with a variety of translation and interpretation services available, and a dedicated city team to meet language requirements and support needs.
Citywide staff training is also a priority, with trainings on a variety of DEI topics from disability justice to cultural competence to racial equity and education, in addition to cultural programming opportunities and employee resource groups to support each other. The city continues to strive to ensure city services to the public are accessible and inclusive, and equal opportunities to engage are available to all residents and staff.
For more information and to sign up for email or text alerts, visit Diversity Advantage.