South Seattle cycling hub Bike Works will host an online trivia game Thursday evening, meant to raise funds and awareness as the Columbia City nonprofit kicks off its 25th anniversary year with fresh leadership and a renewed focus on racial justice.
Neighbors might know Bike Works for its bright yellow community bike shop on South Ferdinand Street or its roving BikeMobile, which offers free repairs to riders in “bike deserts,” where shops are scarce. Thursday’s trivia event is the latest virtual meetup in a monthly series the group has launched during the pandemic.
Don’t know a crankset from a dereailleur? Don’t worry.
The Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and accompanying events, hosted by Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition (Seattle MLK), is one of the longest-running MLK Jr. Day celebrations in the country. This year, Seattle MLK adapted to the realities of COVID-19 and, instead of the usual job fair and rally held inside Garfield High School, the 39th-annual event was held entirely online and outside. In-person events on January 18 began in the parking lot in front of Garfield High with a rally that included a speech by Sean Goode, executive director of Choose 180 — an organization designed to help keep youth out of the criminal justice system — as well as performances by singers Sydney Coleman and Nyshae Griffin, and a presentation of a plaque honoring long-time Seattle MLK committee member, Tony Orange, given to his wife. Then, about a thousand people marched downtown to 4th Avenue and held another small rally.
On their way downtown, the marchers stopped briefly at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic to show respect for Dr. Ben Danielson, the former senior medical director there, who recently resigned due to allegations of institutional racism at parent organization, Seattle Children’s Hospital. The marchers then continued down Yesler Way to 4th Ave. where another small rally was held, highlighting and critiquing the juvenile justice system, with speeches by civil rights attorney Sadé Smith and performances by D’Mario Carter and E-Rich.
Michael Seiwerath thrives at the intersection of affordable housing and the arts.
For more than a decade, Seiwerath oversaw fund development, governmental relations, and communications for Community Roots Housing, formerly Capitol Hill Housing, where he was vice president of advancement and external affairs. He was also the founding executive director of Community Roots Housing Foundation, an independent nonprofit which helped fund Community Roots.
In anticipation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, various virtual events are being hosted in Seattle to honor the civil rights leader. From spoken word programs to virtual walks, there are multiple opportunities to honor MLK Jr.’s legacy this year despite the constraints of social distancing.
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As we enter the new year, there’s one thing that’s already clear: We’re going to need our energy to get through it. And what could be more energizing than a carefully crafted cup of coffee from a local South Seattle coffee shop?
Independent coffee shops are so much more than the coffee they serve. Pre-pandemic, they were our go-to meeting spots when we wanted to catch up with a loved one, community organizing spaces, and where we set up our office for the day. It may be awhile until we can fully embrace everything these special neighborhood spaces have to offer, but for now, we can still enjoy a delicious drink made by people who genuinely care.
For the past 38 years, hundreds to thousands of King County residents have arrived at Garfield High School on the third Monday morning in January. Rain or shine, they showed up to march in honor of one of the most important leaders of the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On an overcast Thursday afternoon in December, groups of local kids gather to play pickup soccer on Brighton Playfield, located in the heart of South Seattle next to Aki Kurose Middle School. It has rained all week, which in past years would mean that the field’s overgrown and misshapen grass surface would be unplayable. But now, after the park’s recently completed remodel, the kids play on artificial field turf without issue.
Suffused with colored lines marked for soccer, baseball, football, and ultimate frisbee, the dazzling green surface is a bit jarring for anyone used to the previously natural and blended landscape. Newly paved concrete walkways have replaced the mudded paths. Fences line the exterior of the field at a proper height.
The most important feature of the renovation, however, may not be the flatness of the leveled ground or softness of the state-of-the-art field turf. It’s the lights.
There is no denying that COVID-19 hit the restaurant industry hard, forcing businesses to lay off countless employees who made their livelihood by serving, cooking, and working in restaurants. Alex Dorros, who co-founded the new South American restaurant Siembra with his mother, Sandra Marulanda, is one of the many who lost their job back in March.
Owning a restaurant was never what Dorros had envisioned for himself, but the pandemic created a unique opportunity, and he seized it. After he lost both his restaurant jobs and his mother left her teaching job, the duo realized Siembra was a venture they could work toward together.
“We weren’t really thinking about being business partners from the beginning,” Dorros said. “But then, as she lost her job and we were sitting there cooking and testing recipes, we were like, ‘Why don’t we just do this together?’”
Although opening a restaurant in the pandemic has been a daunting and challenging task, Dorros has found joy in the process.
Coffee and art are a naturally occurring combo, especially among South Seattle companies Café Avole and Paradice Avenue Souf. The Ethiopian-owned café partnered with the South End clothing store and creative agency to release a limited-edition, single-origin Yirgacheffe coffee on December 22. With beans sourced from Yirga Ch’Efe, located in the province of Sidamo, Ethiopia, and artwork by Paradice’s Ari Glass, the result speaks on many levels about the birthplace of coffee, the significance of it passing through the hands of South Seattle communities — many of which hail from coffee-producing countries — and being interpreted by South End artists.