Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

She pushes for equity, diversity and inclusion — even when others oppose it | Unsung Hero

Erica Knapp of Arlington advocates for all, even when she is met with pushback.

Seattle’s Child is proud to partner with the state Department of Children, Youth and Families Strengthening Families Washington to honor outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children.

All month long, we’ll introduce you to Unsung Heroes from around the state: biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofits; some mentor others in their communities. Enjoy their stories.


Erica Knapp, Arlington

I moved to Arlington just before the pandemic. Isolated and alone, I reached out locally via social media for help with advocating for an adaptive swing at a local park. Erica volunteered and connected me to local community leaders and successfully an adaptive swing was installed. Like me, Erica has a child with a developmental disability.

Arlington lacked support for parents raising children with developmental disabilities. Erica helped start a parent group in order to support parents with resources and information. Last fall Erica was elected to serve on the school board. Erica is a strong advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion — concepts not well-received by some residents who are resistant to change and blind to inequality. Despite their criticism, pushback and online bullying, Erica continues to advocate for all.

This winter Erica partnered with the city of Arlington to offer “sensory-friendly” opportunities for kids with sensory sensitivities to enjoy the seasonal carousel without music and with shorter wait times. The outpouring of appreciation from parents demonstrated the need for this in the community.

I am a leadership development coordinator for The Arc of Snohomish County. Erica reaches out and seeks guidance/feedback when needed. I am in awe of her leadership and appreciative of the change she creates. There are many ways that Erica gives to the community, but I am limited to just 250 words, not enough to capture the scope of her contributions.

Nominator: Jessie Moore



More Unsung Heroes:

‘Super mom’ advocates for kids with developmental differences

Dedicated single mom of 6 also helps parents facing tough times

Katie Biron: a passion for healing families, building community


About the Author