In Response to Allegations of Institutional Racism at Seattle Children’s
To our community of supporters,
The mission of the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) has always been and continues to be focused on elevating awareness of the Washington wine industry. The success of the Washington wine industry is AWW’s north star, and as an independent non-profit organization, AWW has a responsibility to conduct business with transparency and accountability.
Like you, AWW is concerned about the allegations within the Seattle Children’s hospital system. While we are deeply saddened that it took the departure of Dr. Ben Danielson, a dedicated and well- respected 21-year leader of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, to take such actions, we strongly support Seattle Children’s in its efforts to evolve and change for the betterment of society while it launches an independent third- party examination into the hospital system’s race and equity practices. In a statement released last week, Seattle Children’s shared the goal of these actions: “This assessment, along with recommendations for action, will assist Seattle Children’s leadership to accelerate the pace of our existing work to become a truly anti-racist organization.” The leadership of AWW has communicated to Seattle Children’s an expectation that the recommendations for action will be taken seriously and must be implemented with urgency.
AWW stands against racism and discrimination in any form, and our strategic plan includes a commitment to diversity and inclusion, as a top priority. Working in tandem with the Washington State Wine Commission, AWW is participating in the development of a concrete plan to support these values across the Washington wine industry.
Seattle Children’s has been AWW’s primary charitable beneficiary since our inaugural event in 1988. Without their collaboration and donor support over the past 34 years, we would not have raised $52 million dollars nor gained nationwide recognition as one of the top wine charity auctions in the United States. Our success has been their success and we are grateful for the partnership and the opportunity to help support critical health needs for children and families across Washington State.
Your generosity makes the success of the events hosted by AWW possible and provides support for critical needs in our community and in the Washington wine industry. In response to several recent requests by industry colleagues, significant funds raised by AWW for the benefit of Seattle Children’s this year will be directed to the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic.
Please contact Jamie Peha, AWW Executive Director, at 206-661-8243 if you have questions or comments.
Beth McCaw, Board President
Jamie Peha, Executive Director