In a stunning display of intellectual prowess, courage, and unity, five members of Hazen High School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) gave stirring testimony at the Renton School District board meeting Wednesday, in defense of themselves and two educators they say are being bullied by first-year principal Ashley Landes. Despite being told by a district official in the days leading up to the board meeting that they might “lose their voice” if they spoke up in such a way, the students delivered passionate yet measured assessments on their perspective of events. Their testimony from the center of the auditorium earned raucous applause from the sizable crowd while board members and Renton Superintendent Damien Pattenaude looked on from the performance hall stage.
Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at the Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility. Many CFJC residents are Youth of Color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. In collaboration with CFJC staff, Pongo poetry writing offers CFJC youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing. Through this special bimonthly column in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery. To partner with Pongo in inspiring healing and relief among youth coping with mental and emotional turmoil, join Pongo’s certification pilot program this spring!
by a young person, age 16
I just thought you should know what I am doing now. I am happy You are the person who spends a lot of time watching over me And taking care of me. I just thought you should know How I feel about you. I am appreciative that You gave us a place to stay Because we had nowhere else to go.
There’s an old adage: “Money can’t buy happiness.” Unlike most sayings, this is one researchers can try to verify — and they have, though with conflicting results. This weekend’s read is an attempt to resolve that conflict.
Trying to get from one place to another in the South End? A newly refreshed service from King County Metro offers on-demand rides in much of South Seattle and the surrounding region — all for the price of a bus ticket.
You might not yet know any Rainier Prep students. But you will. They are rising leaders in our schools, communities, and political, economic, and educational systems. Rainier Prep is one of South King County’s highest-performing public middle schools serving Global Majority (i.e., Black, Brown, Asian, Indigenous, and other People of Color) and limited-income families who are navigating pathways to post-secondary success and careers. For eight years, we have been transforming how students, families, guardians, and educators prepare for the future of learning and work today so that our students and alum can take even bolder steps forward tomorrow.
by Dominique Morales and Marian Mohamed, GZR Newsroom
(This article is jointly published between Ground Zero Radio, an initiative of the Vera Project, and the South Seattle Emerald.)
Inside the heart of the Washington State Capitol building in Olympia, a sea of students in bright-orange shirts filled the Columbia Room. These students, representing different schools from all over Seattle, were getting ready to walk over to the steps of the Capitol to demand one thing: the end of gun violence in their communities.
Sound Transit has the power to shape equitable development in neighborhoods south of Seattle’s downtown for generations. The political discourse over where to site a station essential for light rail expansion and potentially other non-car modes of transportation has become another existential battleground, falsely pitting our community’s fears of displacement, gentrification, and desire for transit equity in a city experiencing hyper wealth inequality against the simultaneous and very urgent need for connected, reliable, efficient transportation options that also support climate resilience.
Karen Wells stepped outside the meeting room, packed on a bright Saturday with children and parents, as an instructor spoke about chess moves and strategy. She has been bringing her two nieces to the Rainier Beach Community Center for about a year so they can participate in the Detective Cookie Chess Club.