The South Seattle Emerald’s mission is to amplify the authentic narratives of South Seattle
We do this work because…
The South Seattle community has been neglected and underserved by media
Our vibrant community deserves more accurate representations
Responsible media must consistently employ a racial justice lens
We believe accountable, relationship-based media is better media
What happens in South Seattle matters
Every community should have a conduit to speak truth to power
It’s essential to provide an accessible platform for local voices
Equitable access to relevant information is vital to an engaged democracy
In a community long silenced by mainstream media, The Emerald acts as a powerful megaphone: amplifying the voice and experience of South Seattle.
Founded as a platform that authentically depicts the dynamic voices, culture, arts, ideas, and businesses that fall within South Seattle’s borders, the Emerald is news as it was originally intended to be: not as business, nor as a forum for propaganda, but as a service to the community it chronicles.
In the words of Board Vice President, Bridgette Hempstead: “For the community, by the community, to the community.”
Aaron Burkhalter, interim Managing Editor
Aaron Burkhalter has been working in journalism around the Pacific Northwest for 13 years, reporting on homelessness, housing, social justice and race equity at Real Change, the Skagit Valley Herald and other community weeklies in the region. He and his wife are foster parents. He lives in Burien, where he plays music and gardens in his spare time.
Our Board of Directors
Devin Chicras, President & Director
Devin Chicras is a multidisciplinary brand builder whose day job as Seattle’s Friendliest Damn Web Designer™ conveniently lends itself to her favorite hobby of using design and communication as weapons of choice in the fight for a good cause. She also serves as Treasurer for the nonprofit West Hill Community Association (2014 – current) and lead organizer of Skyway Outdoor Cinema (2013 – current), and formerly was President of the Seattle Central Creative Academy AIGA (2008 – 2009).
Bridgette Hempstead, Vice President & Director
Bridgette Hempstead is the founder and CEO of Cierra Sisters, Inc., an innovative organization focused on support, education and advocacy about women’s breast and health issues, in addition to being an accomplished songwriter and singer.
Sera Day, Secretary & Director
Sera Day works as the Community Technology Outreach Coordinator at the City of Seattle and is co-founder and Partner at Charles-Day Strategic, a political consulting firm that centers candidates and communities of color. She recently served as a policy advisor in the Office of Mayor and City Councilmember Tim Burgess, and serves as Vice President of the board of Powerful Voices and President of the Washington Bus Board of Directors.
Alan Preston, Treasurer & Director
Alan Preston recently served as the Managing Director of Real Change. He has extensive experience in nonprofit management and leadership. He is also a Senior Trainer with Class Action, where he leads workshops on the intersection of class and race. Alan lives with his partner Cecilia in South Seattle and is the proud parent of a 21 year old son, six year old twins, and two adult step children.
Andrew (AJ) Johnston, Director
Andrew (AJ) Johnston is an architect working in Seattle specializing in residential and commercial projects. He is an outspoken supporter of community-centered media as a way to speak truth to power and inspire positive change within communities in need. He is also a passionate volunteer and organizer with Social Justice Fund NW (SJF), Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC), Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR) and other social justice movements in Seattle and the greater NW area.
Ijeoma Oluo, Director
Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based writer and speaker. She is the author of the book So You Want to Talk About Race and has written for publications including The Establishment, The Guardian and The Stranger. She was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People of 2015 by Seattle Magazine and one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met in 2018. Her work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice, and the arts.
Nick Patterson, Director
Nick Patterson is a Seattle native who’s spent more than 25 years as a journalist. He is currently employed as a sports reporter and columnist for The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington, where he’s worked since 2003. He’s also worked at newspapers in Ontario, California, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Mount Vernon, Washington, and Seattle. He and his wife Chelsea reside in the Brighton neighborhood.
Emanuel (Mano) da Silva, Director
Mano works in fund development at Social Justice Fund NW, where he’s a big proponent of grassroots fundraising. He is an immigrant who loves being rooted in South Seattle, but grew up in St. Louis. Mano organizes with Got Green and is on the leadership team of the Hillman City Collaboratory. He believes liberation must be led by those most impacted, and the Emerald’s approach to citizen journalism gets us further along that journey.
Jovelle Tamayo, Director
Jovelle Tamayo is a visual journalist and teaching artist, born in the Philippines and raised in Central New Jersey. Previously, she was a staff photographer at the Yakima Herald-Republic, and an intern at the Valley News, Aperture Foundation and Magazine, and the Dow Jones News Fund. She is also a co-founder of the Authority Collective and a board member for the Asian American Journalists Association of Seattle. Jovelle hopes to work with her colleagues and communities to challenge the white, cisgender, heteronormative, patriarchal lens that dominates our histories.
Former Editor-in-Chief Marcus Harrison Green and Board President Devin Chicras discuss the Emerald’s mission with Mike McCormick of KEXP.
Our Comment Policy
We welcome your comments on our articles, as long as they are respectful, relevant and civil in tone. However, in order to maintain this site as a trusted and useful resource, we reserve the right to remove any post that does not comply with our Comment Policy, or simply is not in keeping with our editorial standards for civility. Any commenter who ignores our policies may be banned permanently and without notice.
- Be respectful and civil to others.
- Comments containing profanity, name-calling, or racist epithets (or user names) will be deleted.
- Comments should respond to the topic of the original post. Attempts to derail or dominate a comments thread will get your post deleted.
- Comments may agree or disagree with the content of a post.
- Comments by people deemed to be trolls, sock puppets, or flame warriors by the blog administrators will be deleted.
- Comments that appear on the blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the blog administrators.
- Comments are approved at the discretion of blog administrators (We do our best to approve comments as quickly as possible and thank you for your patience).
Our comment section is provided for readers’ opinions. South Seattle Emerald staff and board do not fact-check the statements posted here, and do not necessarily agree with the opinions. Disclaimer: South Seattle Emerald is not responsible for injury or liability to any reader or commenter resulting from the content posted on the site, or from comments posted by readers, that may be viewed as offensive, misleading, inaccurate, illegal, or otherwise unsuitable.
PO Box 28505
Seattle, WA 98118