As part of our committment to becoming an anti-racist organization, and along with the member-driven priority to elevate racial justice initiatives in our 2020-22 Strategic Plan, PROTEC17 staff and leaders have been creating new ways for members to connect and take action in order to build a more just and equitable world. 

Over the last three years, staff and member-leaders have participated in trainings such as the People’s Institute for Undoing Racism, and partnered with organizations such as Cultures Connecting to work internally on undoing organizational racism. We have also worked closely with the Oregon Labor Education and Research Center and the Washington State Labor Council to host and offer Race and Labor workshops that explore the intersection of labor and race and how we can change our labor movement. 

In 2022, we have been focusing on creating spaces for members to connect to others who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), or those who identify as white-bodied people who want to actively work to dismantle racism. 

Illustration of colorful hands raised up in solidarity. The text reads, "Dismantling Racism." The PROTEC17 logo is pictured as well.

In partnership with Jore Consulting, about 50 white-bodied staff and members assembled in September 2022 to engage in a six-month long cohort. Together, this group is exploring topics such as understanding our roots, patterns of dominance, situations of conflict, accountability, and much more. It is an intensive and transformative program. 

On Dec. 14, the first meeting of the PROTEC17 BIPOC member group gathered to connect, learn, share, and support each other (pictured below). As the group grows, they will shape their priorities and evolve to meet the needs of BIPOC members. If you identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color, and would like to attend the next meeting, please contact PROTEC17 Union Representative Youssef El Hamawi at . 

“I am proud of the work that our organization is doing to actively become anti-racist,” said PROTEC17 Executive Director Karen Estevenin. “While there is still much to do, I know that we have many dedicated members who are committed to moving this critical conversation and work forward.”