Christine Stansfield

Christine Stansfield

She’s listening to and learning from diverse communities

Christine Stansfield is helping a south Everett neighborhood take charge of its library.

This is one of the top four of 12 finalists for the Herald Business Journal’s annual Emerging Leaders award, which highlights and celebrates people who are doing good work in Snohomish County. The winner is to be announced during an online event on Thursday. Meet the other finalists.

Christine Stansfield, 39

Volunteer and community engagement coordinator, Sno-Isle Libraries

Christine Stansfield wants everyone to have a voice and a seat at the table.

Stansfield is in charge of Sno-Isle Libraries’ volunteer program, which covers Snohomish and Island counties and includes nearly 700 volunteers. She also leads the Mariner Community Campus Project, which aims to bring a permanent library to the ethnically diverse neighborhood that surrounds Mariner High School in the south Everett area.

In 2017, Sno-Isle Libraries opened the Mariner Library in a storefront.

But plans call for a permanent location.

Instead of “just building it and assuming they will come,” the library district has sought the neighborhood’s input, said Stansfield, who’s in charge of the community engagement portion of the project.

Stansfield has led more than a year’s worth of meetings with community members to discover what kind of facility they would like to see built.

“Each and every person deserves a seat and voice at the table. It is my responsibility to build relationships across racial, cultural and economic lines,” Stansfield said.

It’s a role that’s required her to listen and learn, she said.

“One of the things I’m learning is what it means to be a white person in a community of color, a community that has not traditionally had a seat at the table,” she said. “What I’m learning is to be incredibly humble. I’m taking the opportunity to build a bridge.”

Her greatest hope is to create “warm, welcoming spaces where all people feel welcome,” she said. “My vision is to co-create a world that works for everyone, where we all can thrive.”

A nominator described Stansfield as a person who is “dedicated to all social justice and racial equity work in a deep way.”

Stansfield serves on the boards of Leadership Launch and Open Arms Perinatal Services, a nonprofit that provides pregnancy, birth and early parenting support.

In person, she is effervescent and joyful.

“I believe laughter is the best medicine, and that struggle and joy can and frequently go hand in hand,” Stansfield said.

“My leadership on the Mariner Campus project is resulting in impactful conversations within my own organization — about the need to prioritize equity, diversity and inclusion in our staffing, materials, collection, artwork and more,” she said. “By using the Mariner Campus as an example, change is indeed starting to occur across the entire organization.”

Janice Podsada;; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Relieve the pandemic coin shortage: Bust open the piggy bank

The coronavirus lockdown means less metal is in circulation. Banks and merchants are desperate for change.

Rep. Larsen tours small businesses given federal PPP loans

The congressman said leaders in Washington D.C. continue to negotiate for further COVID-19 relief.

Boeing: No orders, more cancellations for grounded 737 Max

The company has lost more than 800 net orders so far this year.

Glacier Lanes won’t be spared: Owners decide to close forever

Bowlers statewide are rallying to open venues shut by COVID rules, but this Everett business isn’t waiting.

Snohomish County PUD embraces ‘smart’ meters despite concerns

A handful of customers said they were worried about privacy, peak-hour rate increases and safety.

Marysville sues Arlington over plan for 500 apartments

Marysville worries the major project on 51st Avenue NE will gum up traffic at a nearby intersection.

Big new apartment complex anchors Broadway’s transformation

The seven-story, 140-unit Kinect @ Broadway is one of several facelifting projects in Everett’s core.

Pop into this Everett pop-up store for new vinyl records

Upper Left Records will offer albums from local bands and new pressings of classic recordings.

Everett’s new equity manager is ready to roll up her sleeves

In her new job, Kay Barnes will work to ensure that the city’s staff reflects Everett’s diversity.

Everett startup makes a swift pivot from in-person to online

Abacus links hobbyists, crafters and artists with people who want to learn new skills — virtually.

Dining in the street is now an official thing in Everett

With a free permit, businesses can expand outdoor seating to street parking areas — and fencing is provided.

FAA: Boeing pressured safety workers at S.C. aircraft plant

Federal officials are seeking to fine Boeing $1.25 million for practices related to 787 inspection oversight.