The Seattle office of Weber Shandwick, a leading global communications and engagement firm with a network extending to 126 cities in 81 countries, has chosen Yesler Community Collaborative as its Impact Project Partner for 2016. In its effort to contribute their talent to make a positive difference in the Seattle community, Weber Shandwick is donating $100,000 in staff time and resources to Yesler Community Collaborative (YCC) under the theme of closing the opportunity gap.

The focus of the Impact Project will be to shape a narrative around the concept of equitable development in Seattle that is clear, compelling and simple to understand. This work will include a research component aimed at understanding existing perceptions around equitable community development and discovering what it will take to make Seattle a truly livable and equitable city.

“Seattle is now faced with the most significant building boom since the Gold Rush, and homelessness is exploding,” notes Sue Taoka, YCC board president. “Many of our historic neighborhoods are threatened by displacement and loss of their essential identities. We expect that our work with Weber Shandwick will help us to better communicate the challenges we face with rapid development so that Seattle can continue to grow as a city while maintaining equity and essential livability. We are grateful to have been chosen as their Impact Project partner and we look forward to this collaboration.”

“Part of our purpose at Weber Shandwick is to drive conversations and engaging communications that have lasting impact. As we look at the opportunity gap in our local Seattle community, the changing face of our city impacts each and every one of us. In partnership with YCC, we are thrilled to be able to advance the conversation around what it means to develop Seattle in a way where diverse experience and points of view continue to thrive,” states Michelle Maggs, General Manager of Weber Shandwick Seattle.

Autumn Lerner, Vice President, Health & Social Impact will lead the Weber Shandwick team for the project. Communications Consultant Virginia Felton will coordinate participation by Yesler Community Collaborative and its partner organizations. The project will begin in July and is expected to conclude in December 2016.