News Gleams: Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship For Rainier Beach Grads, Funding for Anti-Displacement Projects, And World Dance Party

collected by Antonio Foster and Will Sweger

Scholarship Opportunity for Graduating Rainier Beach High Women

Calling all 2018 graduating senior women at Rainier Beach High School, the Stanley Ann Dunham Fund has opened its application period for this year’s $5000 Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship.

The application can be submitted online at (Input a search for the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship.) Or you can mail a hard copy of the application, available at RBHS’ Counselor’s Office, or download a copy from their website at must be submitted by March 15, 2018. 

Stanley Ann Dunham was a 1960 graduate of Mercer Island High School and the mother of President Barack Obama. She became a pioneering anthropologist in the area of microfinance, helping to create sustainable businesses for people in marginalized communities around the world – especially women.

A $5,000 college scholarship will be awarded to two female students currently enrolled in the senior classes at MIHS and at RBHS who demonstrate a commitment to the values of social activism, global service, and educational excellence that Dr. Dunham practiced in her life and work. 

$5.5 million available from Equitable Development Initiative Fund for Anti-Displacement Projects

Community-based organizations working in Seattle on anti-displacement strategies and economic development opportunities are encouraged to apply to the City of Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) fund by March 5.

In this round of funding, a total of $5.5 million will be available for capacity building, property acquisition, and capital expenses for community-based projects in high displacement risk neighborhoods.

The EDI fund, administered by the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD), was created to respond to the needs of marginalized populations, reduce disparities, and support access to opportunity in healthy, vibrant communities. The initiative was championed by community organizations concerned about displacement pressures and historical lack of investment that has occurred in communities of color in Seattle.

OPCD will evaluate applications based on their ability to positively impact several equity drivers, including:

  • Promoting economic opportunity through education and job training, and enhancing community cultural anchors.
  • Helping marginalized populations, businesses, and community organizations stay in their neighborhoods.
  • Enhancing health outcomes, access to healthy, culturally relevant food, and supporting safe environments.

Successful applicants will demonstrate a deep relationship with the community they are seeking to serve and feature an inclusive community process, with community members serving in their organizational leadership.

OPCD, Office of Economic Development, Office of Housing , Department of Neighborhoods, and other City departments coordinate the administration of the EDI fund. An interim advisory board helps guide the EDI and provides feedback on funding decisions.

EDI funds, which may be grants or loans, are intended to complement existing funding sources and address gaps identified by communities in the existing resources available to them. Engagement with partner organizations will involve a multi-year process of building capacity, developing a project, and overseeing implementation and reporting.

The current funding round is making available $5.5 million for up to seven qualifying organizations.  Approximately $1 million will be awarded to support capacity-building efforts over a two-year period and $4.5 million will be available to projects for predevelopment, property acquisition, and capital expenses.

OPCD strongly encourages pre-application meetings and will accept requests for meetings until Feb. 14, 2018. Applications are due March 5, 2018. Final contracts with successful applicants are expected to be completed by June 2018.

The EDI fund was established with $16 million from the sale of the Civic Square property adjacent to Seattle City Hall. The fund also receives $430,000 in annual funding from the federal Community Development Block Grant. Seattle’s new program to tax short-term rentals will provide another $5 million in ongoing annual revenues beginning in 2019.

World Dance Party Next Friday

Next Friday the beats will reverberate in Rainier Valley for the World Dance Party. Volunteer instructors will teach dances from around the world in 20-minute sessions while attendees mix it up. The event will also feature a potluck and will focus on bringing south end neighbors together.22780496_1506929889360731_7271790713661002928_nThe dance party is free to the public and organizers encourage attendees to contribute whatever they can whether it be a dish, teaching a dance class, helping at the event, and spreading the word. More than 20 local cultural organizations are offering their support to the gathering as well.

The World Dance Party will be at the Southeast Senior Center at 4655 South Holly Street on January 12. Dancing will start promptly at 6:03pm and the festivities will conclude at 9:07pm.

Latest Round of Seattle’s Participatory Budget Initiative

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (SDN) is again engaging community members to democratically decide how to spend $3 million of the City’s budget on small-scale park and street improvements. This is the third year of participatory budgeting through their Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC): Parks & Streets initiative.

From now to February 2, community members can submit an idea online at or in-person at any Seattle Public Library branch. Projects could include park benches, trail improvements, flashing beacons, and curb ramps to name a few. The only criteria are that the ideas be physical improvements for Seattle’s parks or streets, benefit the public, and cost $90,000 or less.

SDN says it has had nearly 400 ideas from 2017 that will be “rolled over” for consideration in 2018. Check out the map detailing these ideas.

Once ideas are submitted, volunteers will be recruited to turn the ideas into 8 – 10 proposals per district. Then this summer, Seattlites will have the opportunity to vote for the top projects within their district. You can learn more about the YVYC process and how to get involved on our webpage, and for questions, email

KVRU 105.7 FM Welcomes New Program Manager 

South Seattle based low-power FM station (LPFM) KVRU 105.7 FM announced that Maurice Jones, Jr. will join KVRU as their new program manager. Jones grew up in Central Seattle and founded the Central Area Youth Association’s (CAYA) multimedia performing arts program in the 1990s.

He has worked with diverse youth and parents, developing programs and curricula and consulting with school districts, museums, and the Technology Access Foundation (TAF). More recently, Jones co-managed the Columbia City Theatre to bring a broad range of ethnically diverse programming to the neighborhood.  

“Maurice has an outstanding record of developing diverse youth – including children of color, immigrant and at-risk kids – to become media makers, entrepreneurs, and community leaders,” says KVRU station manager Sharon Maeda. “We know that KVRU’s future and that of the diverse communities of Southeast Seattle depend on telling our stories. Maurice is the perfect person to help KVRU achieve that.”  

Maurice Jones, Jr. is the co-founder of Very Juicy Entertainment – a multimedia production house serving the west coast music, video, and film communities. He has a wealth of experience designing production facilities, producing and performing on recordings, as well as educating local youth. He has recorded and toured as a bassist with notable artists including the Neville Brothers, Peter Gabriel, and the Grammy-winning, ethnically diverse fusion band SongCatchers. 

“I am proud to have the opportunity to contribute to a radio station committed to diverse community participation. My goal is to help make this station the voice of the multiple ethnicities that live and work in South Seattle,” said Jones. 

Jones is a US Army veteran and is married to media attorney and singer-songwriter Lara Lavi. Their son, Cameron Miles Lavi-Jones, a University of Washington sophomore, leads the alt-rock group Gypsy Temple. 

Free Writing Classes at the Columbia City Library

As part of its Seattle Writes Program, the Seattle Public Library will be hosting a free writing group at its Columbia City branch (4721 Rainier Avenue South). The monthly drop-in meetings will take places from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 3, Feb. 7 and Thursday, March 8 and be hosted by local author and comedian Brett Hamil.

More information on additional writing groups can be found here.

Organizing Meeting for Esther “Little Dove” John

Local economic justice group Got Green is inviting South End residents to attend their #DontDisplaceDove organizing meeting on January 10 from 6 to 8pm at their office (3518 S. Edmunds St).

The meeting will center on finding sustainable housing for Beacon Hill resident Esther “Little Dove” John, an elder of Black and Native American descent, as well as a movement pioneer. Dove is also disabled and attempting to avoid displacement from the community she’s been a part of for more than 20 years.