Last weekend, thousands turned out for Umoja Fest, Seattle’s iconic annual celebration of Black love and unity that started over 70 years ago. Taking place in Judkins park Aug. 5–7, the festival featured hundreds of vendors, DJs, live performances, a Children’s Village, arts activities, a football scrimmage, and a parade on Saturday, Aug. 6. The Africatown Heritage Parade started on Cherry Street and moved down to Judkins Park. Marching bands, dance groups, Buffalo Soldiers, and many more took part, with enthusiastic spectators lining the streets to cheer them on.
Check out some scenes of this year’s Umoja Fest and the parade below.
The Emerald’s Watchdragon reporting seeks to increase accountability within our city’s institutions through in-depth investigative journalism.
A year ago today, the Emerald published its first story on a whistleblower complaint filed against the Office of Inspector General (OIG). That complaint contained serious allegations — including warnings from OIG leadership to staff to avoid criticizing the OPA in writing — not only against Inspector General Lisa Judge but also against now-former Deputy Inspector General Amy Tsai and now-former Office of Police Accountability (OPA) Dir. Andrew Myerberg.
Some people believe that housing should be a basic human right. Others prefer that poverty in their city be out of their line of vision. Counter to narratives centered around addiction and mental illness often spun by The Seattle Times’ editorial board, the newspaper recently acknowledged that the cause of our city’s rampant homelessness is a lack of affordable housing. Rather than debating the morality of reasons rooted in compassion, the shamefulness of reasons based on aesthetics, or the virtue of rationale landing somewhere in between, we can build solutions based on the understanding that tackling homelessness will require us to do something about Seattle’s skyrocketing housing costs.
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷
🖋️Letter From the Editor🖋️
Voters in unincorporated areas of King County have two more days to join the participatory budgeting process and help determine how money is invested in their neighborhoods! More monkeypox vaccines are also now available, with the Sexual Health Clinic reopening for vaccination today, with drop-in and appointment-based visits.
On a national level, Kansas voters gave an unexpected victory for abortion rights last week, which serves as evidence that perhaps U.S. voters are not as in line with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as anti-abortion advocates may have thought.
—Vee Hua 華婷婷, interim managing editor for the South Seattle Emerald
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 in youth coping with mental and emotional turmoil,register for Speaking Volumes 2022, its fall celebration.
Where I Come From
by a young person, age 14
I’m from a street where a lot have died for little to nothing
I’m from faith in drugs, guns, and street runnin’.
Last week, Seattle temperatures reached into the 90s, a sweltering indication that the long-awaited summer had arrived. And for many, it was already too much. But, all complaints aside, the increase in temperature can turn dangerous quickly if safety is not kept in mind. Cooling centers throughout the area are designated to protect people from heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. With extreme heat continuing to become common “with more than two weeks of 90 degree (F) days likely each summer,” according to the City of Seattle’s Projected Climate Changes, the need to provide resources to beat the heat is a matter of public health.
Last month, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released an updated “Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map” for the state. It calculates the environmental risks for communities throughout the state, in terms of the potential negative impacts to their health.
The fifth annual Refuge Outdoor Festival will be hosted in Tolt MacDonald Park from Friday, Aug. 12, through Sunday, Aug. 14. The festival is hosted by Golden Bricks Events, which also hosts events like Sundaes Outside. Refuge is a camping experience that centers around BIPOC but is open to anyone interested in the outdoors, whether that means people with years of experience mountain biking, or someone who simply enjoys their local park. The event still has tickets available through the Refuge Outdoor Festival website leading up to its opening on Aug. 12.