June 15, 2021

Event Recap | NAPA Social Equity Leadership Conference

The 20th Annual National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Social Equity Leadership Conference (SELC) was held June 9 – 11, 2021. This year’s theme, “Fostering Social Equity: Innovation and Change,” emphasized developing and promoting concrete actions with lasting impact. The conference provided a space to discuss how public administrators can develop a broader understanding of social equity and recognize social equity’s implications within the administrative context.

Social equity—a key pillar of public administration alongside economy, efficiency, and effectiveness—addresses fairness, justice, and equity within a variety of public contexts. In its continuing fight for social equity in public administration, NAPA envisions transforming the public administration landscape and the public it serves by developing a framework that would enable public administrators, policy makers, legislators, and other like-minded organizations at all levels of government to assess the social equity impact of proposed legislation, regulations and policies and make necessary adjustments before they are implemented.

Read the Evans School’s conference report, “Promising Practices: Investment in Social Infrastructure,” and watch the full conference sessions below.

Q&A with Dean Jodi Sandfort and Gary Glickman, Standing Panel on Social Equity in Governance Chair, NAPA:

Understanding Social and Economic Factors of Social Infrastructure


Given events of the last few years, many things are changing in our political, economic, and social lives.  This panel provides cutting edge research to help us understand some of these changes, from the racial reckoning and social response that pulled down confederate statutes to changes in the workforce and contracting practices during COVID and in recent years.


Blueprint for a Just & Equitable Future: Washington State’s 10-Year Plan to Dismantle Poverty


Stubbornly high rates of poverty are the product of inherently unjust and unequal policies, programs, and practices that have underwritten our economy for decades. In response, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee created a Poverty Reduction Work Group (PRWG) in 2018, tasking the group with the creation of a comprehensive, 10-year plan to dismantle poverty. With sincerity and humor, PRWG members Jennifer Bereskin, Drayton Jackson, Lori Pfingst, and Shereese Rhodes will share the journey to create the plan – the trials and tribulations of overcoming institutional distrust of agencies, the implicit biases we hold about people experiencing poverty and those serving them, how we are all undermined by systems underwritten by white supremacy, and the power in recognizing each other’s humanity.

Racial Justice: Not a Zero Sum Game – Government’s Role in the Racial Justice Reckoning


Join panelists from the Seattle Office for Civil Rights in a discussion about the growing polarization and entrenchment surrounding the racial justice reckoning the country is experiencing; how the Seattle Office for Civil Rights’ Race and Social Justice Initiative is structured and works; our journey to rebuild accountability to community; and how city departments make the work of antiracism their own.