Vancouver’s diversity, equity and inclusion director appointed to Washington State LGBTQ Commission
November 29, 2021
Press Release Date:
Monday, November 29, 2021
Gov. Jay Inslee recently appointed Alicia Sojourner, the City of Vancouver’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, to serve on the Washington State LGBTQ Commission, effective Nov. 3.
Sojourner, who uses “they/them/theirs” pronouns, is the first member to serve on the commission from Clark County. They are serving a three-year term, expiring on June 30, 2024.
“I am honored to serve my community and state in this capacity,” said Sojourner. “My hope is that I can bridge the needs, concerns and celebrations between Clark County’s LGBTQ2S+ community (and allies) and the state.”
The LGBTQ commission was established in 2019 to serve as an advisory body to the governor. Its mission is to improve the state’s interface with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit and intersex community, identify needs, and ensure effective means of advocating for LGBTQ equity in all aspects of state government.
All commission members identify as part of the LGBTQ community in Washington state and are assigned to work on specific committees with focus areas including children, youth and families, health and wellness, economic and business development, vulnerable communities (seniors, immigrants, people experiencing disabilities or homelessness and veterans), Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and more.
Three commission members are state legislators and help introduce, advocate for and track legislation affecting the LGBTQ community.
A recent transplant from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sojourner is the first Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with the City of Vancouver. They are driven by supporting opportunities to capitalize on innovative practices within the city that improve workplace and community culture by addressing some of our most difficult social problems.
“Alicia plays a vital role with the City of Vancouver, diversifying our city’s government and helping us to better serve underrepresented and underserved members of our community,” City Manager Eric Holmes said. “Appointing them to serve on Washington State’s LGBTQ Commission as a representative of both our city and Clark County will strengthen the work of the commission.”
Over the years, Sojourner has been involved in many personal activities that support and advance the LGBTQ2S+ community, as well as break down barriers experienced by its members. They have worked to end disparities in employment for Queer Communities of Color, created self-sufficiency programs for youth experiencing homelessness, lead support groups for LGBTQ2S+ parents, created “How to Talk WITH Kids About Race, Sexuality and Gender” curriculum, and guided police and fire departments on working with LGBTQ2S+ community members.
Sojourner can be reached by email at Alicia.Sojourner@cityofvancouver.us.
To learn more about the LGBTQ commission, please visit https://lgbtq.wa.gov/.