The "interactive beach walk" held Sunday at Discovery Park was promoted in partnership with Sea Potential, an environmental group that connects area-youth of color through "healing activities and ocean justice conversations."
The event description read, "We invite you to explore what you can learn about yourself and community, as we strengthen our sense of place and appreciate nature in a way that is culturally responsive to our experiences as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color."
The agency then stated, "This event is open to anyone who identifies as BIPOC."
According to the City of Seattle's Non-Discrimination Policy: "The City of Seattle (City) assures that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, sex, age, disability or national origin, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (P.L. 100.259) or due to breastfeeding in a public place, gender identity, marital status, political ideology, religion, sexual orientation, or military status or veteran status, as provided by SMC 14.04, 14.06 ad 14.10, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity."
The policy "…assures every effort will be made to ensure nondiscrimination in all of its programs activities, whether those programs and activities are federally funded or not."
The Seattle Municipal Code prohibits events that exclude participants based on their race at city parks. Seattle Parks did not return to requests for comment.
The Seattle Parks and Rec Department has a history of discriminatory events.
In June, the city's Human Rights Commission denied a complaint regarding a Pride month event, particularly for BIPOC people. Promotional material for the event, called Taking B(l)ack Pride, announced that the event will be free for people of color but White people would be charged a "$10 to $50 reparations fee."
Capitol Hill Pride sent a letter addressed to the City of Seattle, calling out the reparations payments for White people and not for people of color as "reverse racism."
"It has come to our attention that an event called Taking B(lack) Pride at the Jimi Hendrix public park June 26th is charging whites-only admission as reparations. We consider this reverse discrimination in its worst form and we feel we are being attacked for not supporting due to disparaging and hostile emails," the letter states.
The letter asked for the commission to review the event for possibly violating city, county, state, and federal discrimination laws. The letter called attention to a possible election ethics violation by the event organizers.