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As long as race and ethnicity predict the future life chances of children in our state, racial equity and social justice will guide how we do our work at PEPS. Our vision is for all families to have access to a healthy, supported life.

Equity work at PEPS is:


Listening, learning, and taking action have been the foundations of our equity efforts since 2016.

To begin, we sought to understand why PEPS had historically served primarily white and middle- to upper-income families despite intending to welcome everyone. Consultants helped guide our staff and board through months of education about racism, including vulnerable personal conversations. We examined the history, structure, and programming of PEPS. To listen and learn, we surveyed communities we hadn't served or served well.

Our most significant shift has been that equity is not an annual retreat topic but an ever-present lens on our actions. We no longer hire a person or publish a discussion guide without asking questions such as: Are we moving our community closer to equity? How are we making PEPS a place where everyone belongs?


Our commitment to racial equity touches every part of PEPS. In big and small ways, it is woven throughout our organizational culture, policies, and practices.

Here are just a few examples:

PEPS Groups

For historical reasons, neighborhood-based PEPS Groups aren't always racially diverse. While systemic factors may be outside our sphere of influence, we can still help parents have thoughtful conversations about race, gender, class, and intersectionality.

  • In our PEPS Groups, social identity development is a required discussion topic.
  • PEPS Groups are now offered virtually, within accessible community spaces, and in homes.
  • Affinity Groups create safe spaces for parents with shared identities.
  • Flexible Pricing program fee options increase class diversity.
  • For all 50 topics in our curriculum, PEPS provides hundreds of hours of training to Group Leaders each year to facilitate inclusive conversations.
  • The PEPS curriculum has been professionally reviewed for equity, anti-bias, trauma-informed language, and inclusiveness of gender, ability, and LGBTQIA+ identities.

Community partnerships

We work alongside various community partners to increase access to parent-peer support.

  • Together with each partner, we adapt the PEPS program to meet the needs of the parents and communities being served.
  • We train Leaders within partner organizations as Group Leaders.
  • We provide funding where needed to keep PEPS Groups going.

Our partners have the expertise and lived experience and have fostered trust within their communities to deliver the curriculum in culturally relevant ways. They offer groups for families in their native languages, residents in low-income housing, teen parents, and more.

Learn more about community partnerships at PEPS.


What could we accomplish together if we activated the PEPS community—tens of thousands of parents strong—to support equitable outcomes for all families?

In 2019, we asked parents and community organizations how PEPS can better show up for families in our region. This input has helped us choose the issues we add our voice to each legislative session. Issues include ensuring paid family leave, securing affordable housing, and investing in childcare.

Learn more about advocacy work at PEPS.


PEPS is located on the land of the Indigenous people of Seattle, the Duwamish Tribe of the Coast Salish people. We acknowledge our presence on this land and offer them gratitude and respect. In recognition of the ongoing legacy of colonization and displacement, we contribute to Real Rent Duwamish by providing financial support for their community and acknowledging the debt owed to them for the use of their ancestral land. To learn more and support your local tribe, visit the Native Land website.  

Staff and culture

A more intentional recruitment and hiring process has yielded a more diverse team. We look for lived experience, work experience, and a solid commitment to equity in job candidates. And our equity-driven staff agreements, mission, vision, and values guide our culture and daily work.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Our communications represent diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences.
  • We weave our equity efforts through annual and quarterly goals and objectives, regularly reporting back on progress.
  • Workshops for staff on topics such as Interrupting Microaggressions to White Supremacy Culture Framework keep us learning.

Board structure

Boards are often given broad decision-making power but are usually the furthest from the work and the least impacted by their decisions. And the resources required to maintain a larger board are worth scrutinizing. These days, our PEPS board is small, nimble, and narrowly focused on governance. A larger finance committee and an Advisors and Ambassadors Network enable us to bring in a wider range of community members.

Read more about the PEPS board structure.


When long-standing ways of bringing in funding work well, experimenting requires a leap of faith. But it turns out, more equitable practices advance our goals.

  • Board members are encouraged to donate not a required minimum but an amount meaningful to them.
  • Families have Flexible Pricing program fee options when they register for a PEPS Group.
  • Our annual fundraising benefit was once a raise-the-paddle event highlighting the inequality in the room. Now, we strive to celebrate all contributions by creating excitement around our progress toward a big goal.

Thanks to our wonderfully supportive community, new ways are working well, too.


We're proud of our efforts since 2016 to thoughtfully weave equity work throughout our organization. And we recognize that we will never be "done" with this work.

Advancing equity is an ongoing commitment. We will continue to listen, learn, take action, and repeat. This process doesn't lead to perfection, but it leads to progress. That's how PEPS will move ever closer to our vision: that all families have access to a healthy, supported life.

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