In the shadow of one of the most expensive metro areas in the nation, residents of South Seattle and South King County have less access to healthy and affordable food, more travel time to access healthcare, and higher levels of air and noise pollution. Our partnership aims to amplify the successes we’ve already had in building people power in these communities by investing in BIPOC youth leadership. Our goal is to raise a generation of leaders who are better equipped to advocate for homegrown solutions in order to create more equitable built environments.


BUILD and its communities apply bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven (BUILD) approaches to improve health in communities that are adversely affected by upstream factors.


The programs of Healthy King County Coalition (HKCC) are built around advancing racial justice beyond just our organization; we want our community members to grow into leaders across the spectrum of government, nonprofit, and business- inheriting and amplifying our equity values along the way. Our approach is not simply to advocate for underrepresented communities but to provide training, tools, and resources, so more community members have the skills to navigate bureaucratic systems.


Built environment work, especially built environment work that centers leadership development, isn’t simple. Explaining how roads, sidewalks, parks, and even buildings affect health outcomes for our community takes time. By focusing on the built environment, we target social, environmental, and economic factors that influence health in the region. We do this by training and equipping community members with what they need to understand the issues, navigate the system, and advocate for better policies.


Our group of partners bring different strengths to address the inequities we aim to improve:
Seattle Children’s Hospital brings health expertise, built environment expertise, and data analysis. Public Health Seattle & King County (PHSKC) brings a data-driven view of health disparities, broad knowledge of health efforts across the county, and contacts within government. Healthy King County Coalition and Residents bring lived experience, a community informed and centered perspective, representation from many local organizations, and advocacy and training experience.


The community directs Healthy King County Coalition (HKCC)’s work. Two of the three members of the core team are members of the racial and ethnic groups we aim to increase health equity for and alongside. Our partnership utilizes the relationships we have already established to co-design the work. We have worked alongside the community to identify the shared community health priority of improving the built environment.


Data power is held not just by one but collectively across the three partner agencies, as well as with the community. As we have done in the past, we are using data to inform decisions throughout the course of this project. We have access to a wide variety of quantitative data from Public Health Seattle & King County (PHSKC), including 2021/2022 King County Community Health Needs Assessment (kingcounty.gov/chna) and a database of socioeconomic and health indicators (kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/data/impacts).