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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Board of County Commissioners

Thurston County acknowledges that systemic racism is institutional and structural. Years of discrimination towards black, indigenous, and other people of color have led to a variety of community groups experiencing oppression and generational trauma which have created disparities that exist by race and ethnicity, income, and geographic area. We have an obligation to identify and eliminate systemic racism throughout county government by working together as a community to address historic wrongs and improve outcomes for all.  Thurston County commits to efforts that will build an anti-racist county and create systems and services that create equitable opportunities for our community members to thrive. 

In an effort to create an equitable community, Thurston County wants to connect our residents and community members to resources that promote opportunities for success in health, housing, education, and workforce development. When our residents can thrive on an individual level, our community can reap the benefits of sustained economic growth, income equity, and health equity. 

Why Race?

Racial inequality is deeply embedded in our nation’s policies and practices that now impact not only people of color, but other marginalized groups as well. As people of color sought equal rights, history shows that other victims of oppression benefitted from policy changes rooted in the struggles of the BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) community for example, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. By centering on race and eliminating racial inequities, Thurston County will become equipped to transform its systems, and as racial inequities are addressed, other groups will benefit. This allows us to advance equity for all community members regardless of race, income, age, abilities, and gender. 

At the local government level, we are focused on addressing structural and institutional racism and less on addressing individual racism. While individual racism persists and deserves our attention, we need to address the existence and perpetuation of racial inequities that have been embedded into government policies and programs. As our local government deepens our ability to address and eliminate racial inequities and disparities, we will be better equipped to transform our structure and institutions that impact other marginalized groups. 

What is the County doing?  

Thurston Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) declared racism a crisis through Resolution No. 15995, and the Board of Health proclaimed Racism a Public Health Crisis in March 2021. In December 2021, the BoCC passed Resolution No. 16097 establishing the Council on Racial Equity and Inclusion

In December 2023, the BoCC unanimously approved to adopt the County's first Racial Equity Action Plan to guide the county’s efforts in identifying and mitigating inequities and disparities within the community. 

Thurston County Racial Equity Action Plan

Thurston County Equal Employment Opportunity Plan 2023-2025


Contact Information

Devi Ogden (she/her), Racial Equity Program Manager


Cell: 360-358-1328

Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments about racial equity work happening in Thurston County.  I look forward to hearing from you and sharing more about what we are doing!