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A Call To Action: Support for André Franklin

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

We are asking you to join the 100+ community members who have already signed up to support our Brother of BUILD, André Franklin, in his continuous battle with the City of Seattle and the Parks & Recreation Department. These are very complex issues that have been going on for several years. André has tried to resolve the issues at the lowest level possible, but unfortunately to no avail.

We are asking the community to help out with an email campaign. The goal of your support is to change the power and control dynamics by applying pressure to those in power to step in and show their leadership to create an equitable & reasonable solution, as the City originally promised.

André is a co-founder of Brothers United in Leadership Development (BUILD) a Black-led community-based organization that is valued by Black-IPoC community members. The vision of BUILD is: Black men are empowered leaders and mentors who make positive change in our community by instilling pride, hope, perseverance in Black men and boys. BUILD has focused on civic engagement, leadership development, mentoring, and community partnerships throughout the greater Seattle area with a focus on Black-IPoC communities. 

André has worked for the City of Seattle for 15+ years and during his tenure, all his performance reviews have been proficient, however unfortunately he has had to endure ongoing Anti-Black toxic work environments and the changes that come with government politics. Regardless of the changes, adjustments, and politics within the Parks & Recreation Department (SPR) / City of Seattle (COS) , André remained committed to the Black-IPoC youth of our city. His commitment ensured a safe, secure, and thriving environment with programs that he developed, managed, and oversaw. Under André, programs that served Black-IPoC youth have survived tenure changes, budget cuts and thrived, thus providing our cities Black-IPoC youth with a viable option to socialize, learn, and grow in their own neighborhoods.

Some of the issues André has faced while employed with SPR/COS are: 

  • SPR/COS Leadership supported false allegations made against him. 

  • He has been blackballed and blocked from employment opportunities that he was overqualified for. 

  • SPR/COS systematic disregard for policies, procedures, and safety measures to protect employees. Allowing the toxicity of his working environment to thrive to minimize their liability exposure. 

  • Refusal by SPR/COS Leadership to engage in discussions/solutions about the work environment to remedy issues reported.  

  • Continuously working outside of job scope without appropriate compensation. 

Some of the impacts to André have been: 

  • Mental health & psychological health impacts to him and his family due to an SPR/COS Anti-Black toxic work environment.  

  • Unhealthy weight loss (45+ lbs. in 30 days) due to stress incurred within the toxic work environment. 

  • Forced to protect himself and his family by leaving 1/2 of his annual salary accrued: vacation, sick leave, and retirement by reducing the number of days/hours he had to endure the Anti-Black toxic work environment and protect his well-being. 

Supporting documents can be reviewed by clicking  HERE. 

As a result of these and other issues, André engaged SPR Leadership and SPR agreed, in writing, to temporarily reduce his work schedule to part-time (2 or 3 days a week / 20 hours per week) until they have a permanent solution to capture the attributes of his new position. SPR Leadership also assured that they would work with André to look at his skillsets and then finalize a position that maintains his title or similar title with similar compensation, and hourly rate of pay. With this assurance, André was able to expand the work being done via BUILD in support of the Black-IPoC community as a consultant & contractor securing partnerships and subcontractors to assist with furthering the work in the community. 

Now, SPR/COS Leadership has decided they want to go back on the agreement that was signed. SPR Leadership is now demanding that André returns to the same Anti-Black toxic work environment, full-time, with no consideration of the agreement that they put into place. Their actions display a complete disregard for their employees' physical and mental wellbeing, along with a misalignment from their self-proclaimed support and understanding of their Black and IPoC employees/community. Additional stressful meetings with senior leadership where the power dynamic is completely out of balance, have continued to focus on the “needs” of the organization instead of honoring the original agreement and addressing issues related to the Anti-Black toxic work environment. They have gone so far as to offer André a choice from lower-paying positions, operating as if they are conceding on his behalf. Their aggressive tactics feel like bullying and their unwillingness to honor the original agreement, understand, listen or effectively address the issues are a true display of the ongoing implicit racial bias that still presents itself within the City of Seattle despite their performative anti-racist anti-white supremacy culture stance. This behavior perpetuates harm, is disrespectful and disappointing, but not surprising. 

    If you need any technical support, please feel free to reach out to

Again, your support is not going unnoticed. A big THANK YOU to you, the community for supporting André and using your voice to help! In solidarity,

Brothers United In Leadership Development (BUILD)

#BUILD206 it’s a lifestyle 💯✊🏽

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