by Emerald Staff
These past two years have been a time like no other. As if the deadliest pandemic in United States history wasn’t enough, this nation also had to continue addressing the legacy of chattel slavery and the racist policies that have marred this country’s democratic aspirations. Both caused pain, suffering, death, and sapped the economic vitality of families and communities around the country and here in the South End. Through it all, the South Seattle Emerald’s dedicated board, core team, and freelance content contributors have done their best to amplify your voices and reflect your cultural, political, and informational expressions. They are the expressions of a community that is in pain yet also has the resilience and strength to overcome.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Emerald has increased our diverse news, arts and culture, voices, and community pieces from three to five stories per week to three to five stories per day. We did this with the help of nearly 80 freelance content contributors, from award-winning journalists to community advocates, youth to retirees. The Emerald stepped up our engagement on social media via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and tripled to over 35,000 total followers. Meanwhile, our Weekly Round-up Newsletter subscribers increased 63%.
Your trust in us has been both humbling and empowering. It has allowed us to amplify more voices of equity and justice. Readers have responded with an average of 1.5 million annual views on southseattleemerald.com. That led to over 1,000 Rainmaker monthly contributors, more GiveBIG donors, and anonymous gifts from $50 to $10,000.
Also, for the first time, the Emerald was blessed with a number of grants from a broad range of funders. We are immensely grateful for the trust of Black Lives Matter/Seattle King County, the Borealis Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, the Group Health Foundation, Mize Family Foundation, and the Seattle Foundation/Capacity Building grants for operating support.
The Emerald’s expanded content focus on Black and Indigenous communities, addressing anti-Asian violence, environmental health, South King County voter education, and partnerships with the International Examiner and Real Change, was made possible by project grants. Special thanks to the Group Health Foundation, Nia Tero, Seattle Human Services Department, and the Seattle Foundation/Neighbor to Neighbor and Vibrant Democracy Initiative-Partnership Mobilization grants that made it all possible.
We also received King County and Seattle COVID Relief Funds that made up for the significant 2020 loss of advertising and cancellation of our annual anniversary fundraising event. And the Emerald welcomed sponsored stories relevant to the South End and fee-for-service media projects that provide additional income for freelancers.
With the generous support of you and the above funders, we have come to a point of transition, giving our genius founder/publisher, Marcus Harrison Green, a much deserved and overdue sabbatical — and launching a search to hire a full-time executive director to take over the day-to-day management of the Emerald. Upon his return from sabbatical, Marcus will remain at the helm as Publisher.
We’re looking forward to 2022 with renewed commitment to bring you the authentic voices of the diverse people in the South End. To spend time with loved ones, refresh, and heal mind and body, the entire Emerald team will take a holiday from Dec. 20 to Jan. 3. We look forward to continuing to lift your voices, arts and culture, community, and news towards equity and justice in the New Year.
May your holidays be joyous and safe, filled with hope and a renewed commitment to move toward a more just community and world.
📸 Featured illustration by Jiéyì 杰意 Ludden.
Before you move on to the next story … The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With over 900 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us get to 1,100 Rainmakers by the end of the year and keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible. If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn't have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference. We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!