Life on the Margins Episode 5: The Movement for Change

by Enrique Cerna, Jini Palmer, and Marcus Harrison Green

Episode Summary

The movement for change rolls on. On this episode, we look at the creation of Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest. After recent protests, some peaceful, some not, #CHOP took root as Seattle police abandoned its East Precinct. We also talk with Elmer Dixon, co-founder of Seattle’s Black Panther in the late 60’s, another time of major civil unrest in Seattle and the nation. He shares his thoughts on the similarities of that time and the present. And we meet educator and artist Aileen Granstrom, one of 200 artists who have contributed their time and skills to create murals with messages in the Seattle Chinatown International District.

Episode Notes

0:06 – Episode Introduction

1:28 – Hosts Checking In

2:09 – Jini Palmer at CHOP

9:08 – Perspective of BLM King County Silent March

17:47 – Conversation with Elmer Dixon

41:16 – Meet Aileen Granstrom

44:56 – Host Recap

46:10 – Marcus Harrison Green’s Crosscut Excerpt


Elmer Dixon  was born in Chicago and moved to Seattle at age 7 when his father took a job at Boeing. Dixon grew up in Seattle’s Central District, attending Garfield High School. While at Garfield High, Dixon helped organize the school’s Black Student Union in 1968. That same year, with his older brother Aaron Dixon, he co-founded the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party. He served the Chapter as its Field Marshall as well as the Breakfast Program Coordinator. When the Seattle Chapter closed its office and some of its core members moved to Oakland in 1972, Elmer, under parole and unable to move to Oakland, stayed in Seattle and reorganized the Chapter. He worked to sustain the Party’s breakfast program and health clinic, maintaining the Panther organization until 1976 and some programs into the 1980s. Elmer Dixon now works as a diversity consultant.

Aileen Granstrom  is a Elementary School Associate Teacher in Bellevue, as well as a dance instructor at the University of Washington.  You can find a video version Enrique’s piece with Aileen Granstrom HERE 


Produced In Partnership With :

Town Hall Seattle  (

The South Seattle Emerald  (


Executive Producer + Host  // Marcus Harrison Green

Executive Producer + Host // Enrique Cerna

Executive Producer + Host // Jini Palmer

Additional Production Support Provided By // Hans Anderson & JEFFSCOTTSHAW

Music Provided By // Draze “The Hood Ain’t The Same” //


Featured image: People are silhouetted at Jefferson Park, as they begin to assemble to listen to organizers speak, during the March of Silence down 23rd Ave. South, Seattle, Washington, on June 12, 2020 (Photo: Carolyn Bick)

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