The Shape of Trust

Daniel Cohen, "Queen of Heaven (Nebula)", 2018. From Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art, City of Seattle Portable Works Collection.

Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative releases new guide for creating transformational, anti-racist workplaces 

Seattle – September 20, 2021

The Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) at the City of Seattle is proud to present the next stage in a project years in the making. The Shape of Trust provides tools for supervisers, managers, HR advisers, and others organizing for transformational, anti-racist change. Arts, culture, mindfulness, and embodiment are used to create organizational cultures rooted in health, wellbeing, belonging, and coliberation.

The heart of the project is a filmed performance written by playwright and director Sara Porkalob, and performed by a cast of seasoned BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color) actors. It captures the authentic experiences of a group of City of Seattle employees, most of whom are BIPOC women. Their stories reveal patterns of struggle, resilience, collaboration, leadership, and change.

The performance is paired with The Shape of Trust Video Facilitation Guide, an in-depth guidebook for racial equity facilitators to lead discussions centered around the stories. The facilitation guide is supplemented with 10 detailed Activity Spotlights that can be adapted for small or large groups, both in-person and virtual.

The Shape of Trust Guide was created with support from Seattle’s Office for Civil Rights (SOCR), the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), and the Department of Human Resources (SDHR). The work emerged from over a decade of racial equity organizing within the City of Seattle. Much of that organizing has been led by BIPOC women, who are the most impacted by racism, sexism, and other intersecting forms of oppression. See the Video Facilitation Guide for a full list of contributors, including artists, cultural organizers, and healers who work in a variety of settings, from government to grassroots community.

Visit the RSJI website to explore the Video Facilitation Guide, which includes The Shape of Trust performance. RSJI will continue sharing updates as this project evolves.

Contact Jason Eastman, RSJI Communications & Operations Coordinator, with questions about The Shape of Trust.