Elliott Bronstein and Jacque Larrainzar: The Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative: What Happens When a City Government Decides to End Racism?

International Studies in Planning Spring 2012

Elliott Bronstein is the public information officer for the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. He grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, where he studied literature at the University of Manitoba. Prior to joining city government, Bronstein served for 15 years as the editor of The Voice, a monthly newspaper for public housing residents in Seattle and King County.

Jacque Larrainzar is the policy and outreach division manager of the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. She is a Mexican-born lesbian of Basque-Lebanese descent from Mexico City. Larrainzar holds a bachelor of science from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and a post-graduate certificate in music therapy and centered-person counseling from the Gestalt Institute of Psychotherapy.

In 2004, the City of Seattle initiated the Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) — a citywide effort to end institutional racism in city government. Larrainzar and Bronstein, who have served on RSJI’s coordinating team since its earliest days, will present an overview of RSJI, a summary of its accomplishments and an outline of its future direction. They also will discuss the personal impact of working on racism within a large institution.