Category Archives: Community

Creamy Cone Cafe Brings Local Ice Cream to Rainier Beach

by Mark Van Streefkerk


South End ice cream fans have good cause to celebrate — Creamy Cone Cafe officially opened in Rainier Beach on Memorial Day weekend. The Black-owned, family-run ice cream cafe at 9433 Rainier Avenue South features root beer floats, sundaes, in-house-made waffle cones, coffee drinks, and 12 rotating ice cream flavors from local creameries. 

Decked out in playful neon colors, including a small selection of outdoor seating, Creamy Cone Cafe brings sweet treats to a community that was in need of its own ice cream shop.

For owner and South End resident Ashanti Mayfield, her sister Alexis Jones, and their families, ice cream is a regular part of family time and celebrations. But getting to an ice cream shop is a bit of a drive for people in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. Ashanti and her family would frequent Full Tilt Ice Cream in Columbia City or Cold Stone Creamery in Tukwila. “Between those two, those were our cheer-up moments — going to get ice cream and just having a family outing together,” Ashanti said. “As far as ice cream goes, the South End needed [a shop].”

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Ann Okwuwolu’s Fifth Annual Juneteenth Event Offers History, Resources, More in Othello Park

by Chamidae Ford


It Takes A Village — AMSA Edition, a local nonprofit, will host its fifth annual in-person Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 19, at Othello Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ann Okwuwolu, the creator of the festival, is a former medical technician who was inspired to start the celebration in 2016 when she recognized the lack of Black representation in New Holly Community events. 

“Everything was geared towards other people. And so we didn’t have any visibility,” Okwuwolu said. 

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Refugee Artisan Initiative’s Specialty Is Responding to Community Needs

by Kamna Shastri


It was just a year ago when Refugee Artisan Initiative’s (RAI) six artisans rapidly switched their handmade jewelry and clothing operation to make boxes brimming with cloth masks. In April 2020, COVID-19 had shut down the United States and Washington State hospitals were strained. There was a shortage of personal protection equipment like N95 and disposable masks that had to be reserved for healthcare professionals. Though the debate about whether to mask up was in high gear (and continues to be), to RAI founder and Executive Director Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman it was clear that masking up was not just a precaution but a responsibility.

With a background in biology and a part-time job as a pharmacist, Tung-Edelman could see the pandemic looming even before official lockdowns silenced roadways and sent cities into isolation. When the PPE shortage became apparent, Tung-Edelman saw an opportunity for RAI’s artisans to respond to an urgent local need. It was a “perfect storm,” she said of the mask shortage and COVID-19 precautions meeting the specific skill set of RAI’s artisans. 

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Delridge Farmers Market Starts This Weekend, Featuring Local, BIPOC Farmers

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Getting fresh, local produce in the hands of South Delridge’s East African, immigrant, and refugee communities has historically been a challenge. The USDA-designated food desert doesn’t have sufficient grocery options close by to meet the needs of the community, and last year’s closure of the West Seattle bridge only isolated the area even more. After securing important funding from the King Conservation District’s local food program about nine months ago, African Community Housing & Development (ACHD) decided to launch their own farmers market. 

Featuring BIPOC farmers and vendors, the Delridge Farmers Market brings locally-grown, culturally appropriate options for fresh produce and food to the community. The market kicks off this Saturday, June 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the courtyard of Hope Academy at 9421 18th Avenue Southwest. Masks are required, as well as social distancing protocols.

The Delridge Farmers Market pilot program will take place on the second Saturday of each month from June to November 2021.

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Black and Tan Hall Hosts Virtual Party to Support Local Businesses and Artists

by Chamidae Ford


This Saturday, June 12, the local cultural hub, Black and Tan Hall (B & T Hall), will be hosting their Hall-i-Day party. Originally created as an event that promotes community businesses and supports local artists during the winter holiday season, B & T Hall is transitioning it to a seasonal event.

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Rainier Scholars Announces New Partnership With Tacoma Public Schools

by Ronnie Estoque


For the last 20 years, Rainier Scholars has partnered with various organizations, school districts, individual schools, and businesses to academically support underrepresented students in the greater Seattle area. Earlier this month, Rainier Scholars announced that they would be partnering with Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) to further the district’s mission of supporting more students, especially those from multigenerational African American families. Their first Tacoma cohort will be recruited in the beginning of fall of 2021, with programming launching in the summer of 2022.

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Juneteenth 2021 in Seattle: A Guide to Local Events

by Emerald Staff


Emerald staff rounded up local Juneteenth events so you and yours can easily find ways to participate both in person and virtually in celebrations, storytimes, cooking classes, and so much more!

Check back to this post as we continue to add more events that we hear about!

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Tiny House Village to Open in Skyway

by Elizabeth Turnbull


In roughly three weeks, community organizers transformed a bare lot in Skyway into a new village filled with tiny homes and amenities for people living without houses — creating a path for residents to ultimately transition to permanent housing.

“We are our brother’s keeper, we are our sister’s keeper, so this is what it’s about,” said Min. Kathy L. Taylor at a press event for the village, held Tuesday, June 9. “All of us at some time need some help, so this is a transition for folks that may have had a setback so that they can come here and have a strong comeback as they transition into permanent housing.” 

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Filipino Community Village Set to Open this Summer

by Ronnie Estoque


The Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS) have had a vision for the Filipino Community Village (FCV) for over 10 years and have been the drivers steering the development to final fruition this summer. Four years ago, a partnership between Beacon Development Group and the FCS helped speed up the dream of providing 95 affordable apartment homes for low-income seniors in the local South Seattle area. Beacon Development Group is an affordable housing consulting firm that works with nonprofits and housing authorities and is a subsidiary of HumanGood.

“The members of the Filipino Community of Seattle have worked tirelessly to advocate for this project with elected officials at the state and local levels to stress the importance of this project and its impact not only for the Filipino community but South Seattle/Rainier Valley as a whole,” FCS Executive Director Agnes Navarro said.

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Central Cafe: A Community Hub With Purpose and Delicious Eats

by Kayla Blau


The doors of Central Cafe officially opened on Jan. 18, 2020, just a few months before Seattle entered COVID-19 lockdown. Many small businesses didn’t make it, but Bridgette Johnson knows how to pivot.

Johnson grew up in the Central District and is a Garfield High School alumna. After 10 plus years of preparing food in grocery stores, she wanted more creative control over the food she was preparing and decided to open a cafe. 

“I wanted to create a space like we had when I was a kid. We would go to the corner store all the time, and the owner knew us so we wouldn’t act up. We need to know our neighbors again, to check in on people, especially now with the pandemic and so much isolation and depression. We need those community spaces where everyone is welcome,” she said.

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