Emerald Founder Honored With Human Rights Award

by Emerald Staff

Marcus Harrison Green, South Seattle Emerald founder and publisher, continues to be recognized as a leader and voice for equity and justice. On this International Human Rights Day, Green is being honored with the Seattle Human Rights Commission’s Individual Human Rights Leader award. Other awardees are Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network, recipient of the Human Rights Coalition award, and Choose 180, recipient of the Human Rights Organization award. 

On hearing of the honor, Green, in his typical, humble style, first thanked the entire Emerald team and marveled at being a recipient. He commented, “Given the caliber of past awardees, just being in their category is a bit surreal. I’m honestly still processing the announcement. There are so many people in our city and in my community who do magnificent work in uplifting the voices of people who are too often disregarded. I definitely do feel I’m no more deserving than any one of them. So, although, this is an individual award, this tremendous recognition belongs to my community.”

In 2014, Green returned home to Seattle and began publishing the Emerald from his mother’s Rainier Beach basement using his own funds. He wrote and edited articles for the Emerald, recruited and inspired the Emerald team, all while living on a subsistence income and navigating his recently diagnosed bipolar condition. The Emerald’s board president, Devin Chicras, praised Green, saying “Marcus’ first reaction to any well-deserved praise is to immediately redirect that spotlight to his team and collaborators. But actions like this only further exemplify Marcus’ leadership, community spirit, and humility. These values drive his every action and relentless pursuit of amplifying the underrepresented voices we must hear from if we are going to have a chance of rising above the seemingly insurmountable challenges that persist today. Not all in the South End may be fully aware of the hard work and great sacrifices Marcus has made for our communities, but they have undoubtedly benefited from the positive impact.”

After a year away from the Emerald as a Seattle Times reporter, Green returned in late 2019 and now writes a monthly column jointly published by the Emerald and the Seattle Times. The Emerald also partners with Converge Media, the International Examiner and Real Change.

Green has also been a frequent guest journalist on local radio stations KBCS, KNKX, KUOW and KVRU. 

This year, Green and the Emerald team pulled out all the stops to expand coverage of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and BIPOC uprisings against police brutality and other injustices. The Emerald quadrupled the number of stories reported and expanded coverage of the many diverse voices found in Seattle’s South End communities. The Emerald featured stories of pain and suffering as well as surviving and thriving. The wide range of stories included the houseless, students, community businesses, service organizations, those who died of COVID, activists inside CHOP, and muralists painting messages of solidarity and hope on boarded up buildings. The Emerald strives each day to fulfill Green’s commitment and create a source of information for and about Seattle’s South End communities grounded in their everyday, lived experiences. 

The South Seattle Emerald is a 501(c)3 nonprofit online media organization that operates on a lean budget. It is funded by Emerald readers, grants, and fee-for-services projects. We welcome your tax-deductible donation.

Featured image by Chloe Collyer.

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