Byrd Barr Place New CEO Dr. Angela Griffin

SEATTLE — The board of directors of Byrd Barr Place—a Black organization in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood that empowers people through essential services and advocacy—today announced they have selected Dr. Angela Griffin to serve as their next CEO.

“Dr. Griffin’s impactful career in social service, along with her commitment to racial justice, assured us that she is the leader Byrd Barr Place needs,” said Tamara Howie, board co-chair. “She has a track record of building trusting relationships with Black communities and other communities of color.”

Dr. Griffin has more than 25 years’ experience advancing racial justice in the social service and education sectors, working in partnership with communities of color. In her recent role as CEO of Launch in Seattle, a nonprofit focused on high-quality early learning and care, she increased tuition assistance for working families by 200 percent, added legislative advocacy as a fundamental service and established a pathway to become an anti-racist organization.

“I’m particularly excited to join a Black-led organization that is meeting the needs of Black communities and communities with low-incomes, while advocating for systemic change,” said Dr. Griffin. “It feels like a homecoming since my first job in Seattle was working with Black families in the Central District neighborhood.”

Byrd Barr Place recently completed a $12.8 million renovation of its building, and is well positioned to expand on its 60-year legacy of social service and advocacy. Last year, the organization supported more than 5,500 food bank visits to nourish individuals; provided 6,646 energy assistance grants to keep families warm; and distributed $1.9 million in rental assistance for families to stay housed. Byrd Barr Place also led research and advocacy efforts to support Black homeownership, Black maternal health and Black well-being.

“Dr. Griffin’s approach of shared leadership, her passion for research and her trauma-informed practice are foundational for this next phase of the organization,” said Heyward Watson, board co-chair. “I trust her to move Byrd Barr Place’s vision forward.”


A Black organization rooted in Seattle’s Central District, Byrd Barr Place is creating an equitable future for all Washingtonians through innovative programs and advocacy that empower people to live healthy, prosperous lives. In Seattle, Byrd Barr Place provides essential services—food, shelter, warmth and financial tools—to help people build stability and self-sufficiency. The organization also advocates for equity statewide through groundbreaking research and mobilizing communities to dismantle poverty and racism.