About Us

Blacks In Government® (BIG) was established in 1975 and incorporated in 1976 by a small group of African Americans at the Public Health Services which is a part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) in the Parklawn building in Rockville, Maryland. The organization was viewed as essential to the Black civil service employee, based on a wide assortment of racially motivated problems faced by the HEW Black employees in Rockville. Initially, it was thought that the umbrella organization would address only the problems at the Federal level. However, it was soon determined that State, County, and Municipal Black employees were faced with the same general type of employment problems.

Old School Jam

Old School Jam 2008

Nonetheless, Blacks In Government was organized in 1975 and incorporated as a non-profit organization under the District of Columbia jurisdiction in 1976. BIG has been a national response to the need for African Americans in public service to organize around issues of mutual concern and use their collective strength to confront workplace and community issues. BIG”s goals are to promote EQUITY in all aspects of American life, EXCELLENCE in public service, and OPPORTUNITY for all Americans.

Blacks in Government was brought to the Northwest in 1981 with the charter of the Seattle Chapter. The Southeast Chapter was chartered in 1991 on the premise that it would be dedicated to its membership and develop and sponsor programs which would provide support to African American youth.

The Southeast Chapter, with over 100 members, is the largest chapter in Region X (Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho). As an organization we promote unity and professionalism among African Americans, strive to promote growth and development for our members and build a bridge between our communities and government.


President Marriah Collins City of Seattle, Dept. of Finance and Admin. Staff Services
Vice-President Lloyd Dow Retired, City of Seattle
Treasurer Pat West Retired, U.S. Department Housing & Urban Development
Assistant Treasurer Mabel Alexander Retired, City of Seattle, Seattle Public Utilities
Secretary Kim Dow City of Seattle, Department of Human Resources
Assistant Secretary Linda Jones City of Seattle, Seattle Public Utilities

Regional Council


Allynn Ruth

Luther Lyle

City of Seattle, Dept of Neighborhoods

Retired, City of Seattle