Women’s History Month

This year’s Women’s History Month celebrates women who advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. HomeSight has five women on its leadership team, all working toward this goal.

Sarah Valenta

Today, we’re featuring Sarah Valenta, HomeSight’s Director of Community Development.

Q: How does your department advocate for DEI?

A: Our department’s services are delivered by and developed for – and with – people of color.  We work directly in neighborhoods whose members have a high risk of displacement. Predominantly these are communities with low income, and low access to services. Before we start a new project or program, we run it through our REDI decision matrix to determine if it fits with our mission and values.

Q: What challenges lie ahead and how do you plan to tackle them?

A: Building generational wealth through business ownership and growth is a traditional way for people of color, immigrants, and refugees to improve their economic situation. We produce projects and programs to support entrepreneurship and business growth in Rainier Valley. The challenge lies in resources: having enough time, money, and support services – like translation services – to identify and support the specific and varied needs of each business.

Q: What is the most inspiring part of your work?

A: The most inspiring part of the work is building relationships with community and business owners, and providing direct support that improves their situation.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

A: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” –Barack Obama

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