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Heal the Heart

City Launches Heal the Heart of Tacoma, a Community-Led Effort to Transform Tacoma Into an Anti-Racist City


Heal the Heart logoHeal the Heart of Tacoma, established by Mayor Victoria Woodards and the Tacoma City Council in October 2020, is grounded in Resolution 40622. It aims to spark long term change that strengthens and heals communities, provide the foundation necessary to achieve greater equity in service delivery, and increase trust in local institutions.

Heal the Heart of Tacoma will be community-led, and invites local organizations to bring their unique resources and subject matter expertise to the table as they work with the community to transform Tacoma into an anti-racist city.

Heal the Heart of Tacoma will call on government and other institutions to:

  • Acknowledge the harm done by long-standing systems and institutions.
  • Cultivate a deeper understanding of those harms by listening to the community and creating a local record of past and present impacts on individuals, families and the community as a whole.
  • Repair the harm done by taking steps to reduce impacts and prevent repeated harms.
  • Transform systems by making concrete changes in collaboration with communities most impacted.

“As the City Council and I called out in Resolution 40622, the community outcry for change goes far beyond policing alone. We must also address the violence of poverty, widespread disparities in health and housing, and barriers to opportunity of all kinds. Given time and our support, I believe the community has the wisdom and ability to lead all of Tacoma to true transformational change.”

- Mayor Victoria Woodards

Heal the Heart of Tacoma will require sustained work on intergenerational issues of racism and conversations on emotionally and technically difficult topics.

Core Coordinating Team Members Appointed

 In December 2020, the Tacoma City Council approved Resolution 40708, appointing individuals recommended by the Community Vitality and Safety Committee, the Commission on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and the Human Rights Commission to the Heal the Heart of Tacoma initiative's Core Coordinating Team. Learn more here


Core Coordinating Team Updates to the City Council

The Heal the Heart Core Coordinating Team presented the following updates to the City Council:


They completed and shared their charter in July 2021 and will continue to refine it to ensure it continues to serve its purpose as a foundational document. Below are the areas they will be focusing on throughout the course of their work. 


Core Coordinating Team seeks Applicants for Six Transformation Teams

Apply now to join one of Heal the Heart's 6 Transformation Teams: Housing, Health, Economic Equity, Education, Environment and Public Safety. Transform Teams application and more information are available here. Teams are scheduled to being their work in February 2022.

Heal the Heart: Top Systems for Transformation


Team Responsibilities

While working to engineer and align processes, people and power for community-led, anti-racist systems transformation, the Core Coordinating Team is responsible for:

  • Building and executing an authentically community-led process to identify priorities for anti-racist systems transformation in Tacoma
  • Incorporating reconciliation work, such as the model that has been defined and refined by the National Network for Safe Communities, to authentically acknowledge the past and present harms of systemic racism and bring the kind of true change that allows communities to be strengthened, served with greater equity and ultimately experience healing
  • Determining a method for selecting members of transformation teams from across Tacoma to conduct systems transformation/change work in priority areas set by community members of color
  • Participating in community organizing, community relations, and community resourcing efforts that build the network of participants actively engaged in addressing systemic racism
  • Helping transformation teams connect to the right partners, resources and subject matter experts as Tacoma moves toward desired anti-racist systems transformation

It is anticipated that the Core Coordinating Team will meet every one to two weeks through an initial start-up period (likely March 2021) with regular monthly meetings thereafter.

Community partner liaisons will include, from the City of Tacoma, one Council Member and an alternate assigned as policy liaisons to listen and learn from the conversations, report back to Council, and link to resources and information from the City at the request of the Core Coordinating Team.

For the latest announcements, follow Heal the Heart on Social Media:

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Staff Contact
Melanie Harding
(253) 591-5156