Category Archives: Community

Coyote Central’s Voting Swag Raises Awareness for Youth-Led VOTE Project

by Mark Van Streefkerk 

Members of Coyote Central’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) prove it’s never too early for young people to talk about voting. YAB’s VOTE Project is a youth-led voting awareness initiative and Instagram platform for youth speakers to share their reasons for voting. If unable to vote, they talk about why the election matters to them and encourage others to get involved. In addition to their Instagram account, YAB has released pins, stickers, magnets, and posters to encourage voting, the sales of which provide small stipends to youth speakers and support YAB. 

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From High School Basketball Star to Rapper, Isiah Brown — AKA Zay Wonder — Has a Unique Storyline to Spin

by M. Anthony Davis

Many of us may be familiar with Isiah Brown from his days playing basketball at Lakeside High School. In 2016, during Brown’s senior year, he became the Metro League all-time scoring leader. In that same year he averaged 33 points per game, was named Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Washington, was the News Tribune Player of the Year, the Associated Press Class 3A Player of the Year, and the recipient of a number of additional awards that I won’t list here. But here is something about Brown that you probably didn’t know: He is one of the most talented rappers in our city, and he’s been working on his craft under the radar for about five years now. 

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T’Challaween — A South End Tribute to Our Heroes & Role Models

by Emerald Staff


On Saturday, October 31, 2020, the South Seattle Emerald in partnership with Rainier Avenue Radio will bring you — T’Challaween!

“We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”

T’Challa, The Black Panther

A socially distant, COVID-safe costume parade and contest

The event — the first of its kind — will feature a 3/4-mile, socially distant, COVID-safe costume parade along the Beacon Hill Greenway. Paraders will travel north to south from around South College Street to South Hanford Street along 18th Avenue South (see map below in event poster image).

“No-touch” candy tossers will be stationed along the route and event ambassadors will help guide paraders and direct traffic, as the Beacon Hill Greenway — while meant for walking and rolling along, as part of Seattle’s Stay Healthy Streets initiative — will not be officially closed (only local access is permitted).

We ask that all parade participants and spectators maintain a minimum of six feet of distance from other attendees. Please attend T’Challaween only with your family/household to avoid coming into contact with people outside of your quarantine “pod.” And AT ALL TIMES, masks must be worn. If your costume has a mask, wear an appropriate mask over/under it (costume masks are not sufficient protection for yourself or others from COVID-19).

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Rahwa Habte Memorial March to the Ballot Box

by Susan Fried


Sounds of cheering rose from the crowd as people lined up to drop their ballots into the ballot box by Garfield Community Center on Saturday, October 24. A group of about 100 people had marched from Pratt Fine Arts Center near 20th and Jackson to the ballot box on 23rd and Cherry to honor the memory of Rahwa Habte, a community organizer and a fierce advocate of voter rights.  

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Community Comes Together to Save The Station

by Marti McKenna


When Luis Rodriguez and Leona Moore-Rodriguez put out a call for help on Oct. 13, they knew their community would answer that call. But they couldn’t have imagined all the ways their neighbors would rise to the occasion. A few days later, the GoFundMe a friend and customer set up for them has raised over $25,000, and members of the community have found a host of creative ways to help keep their favorite coffee shop from closing.

It wasn’t easy for Luis and Leona to ask for the help they needed. “For me it was humbling, a little embarrassing,” Luis told the Emerald. “To have to ask to your community like, ‘Yo, we’re struggling, we’re going through some rough times, we need your help, we need your money, we need people to donate …’” 

“It was a little hard to ask for help,” Leona agreed, “but at the same time, I know we have a beautiful community that’s willing to stick their necks out and help those in need. And we just happen to be one of those businesses, like so many other businesses in Seattle, struggling through COVID.”

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Local Jazz Legend Overton Berry Passes Away

by Gus Marshall

Seattle-based jazz pianist Overton Berry has passed away at the age of 84.

The cherished hometown musical icon had a full and illustrious career that transitioned through numerous degrees of critical acclaim, artistic recognition, and financial success. He leaves behind an enormous legacy and will be dearly missed.

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Community Ramps Up Support for Vietnamese-Owned Coffeeholic House Robbed Last Saturday

by Ronnie Estoque


Chen Dien, owner of Coffeeholic House in Columbia City, knew something was wrong when he received a phone call from his mom last Saturday morning notifying him that the store’s front door had been opened before the business day had begun.

“My heart just dropped,” Dien said. “The key box was destroyed and the key inside was gone. The cash drawer was broken, and all the money was gone.”

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In Memory of Constance Blakeley: A Transcestor Too Soon

by Jasmine M. Pulido


She was my mentor.

Not in an ethereal, vague way. But in a literal way. She was assigned to me through the Alphabet Alliance of Color’s summer institute where experienced local QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community organizers pass down their skills to newer ones. We were prompted to pick our top three choices for mentors and, I’ll be honest, Constance Blakeley wasn’t in my top three. My top pick — an Asian American columnist writing about social justice, culture, and equity with a focus on marginalized communities. I thought the best pick for me would be someone with a similar background, in profession or in identity, or both.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

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City Fruit’s Virtual Gala to Feature Cider Tasting, Costume Contest, and Trivia Hosted by Jeopardy! G.O.A.T. Ken Jennings

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


Trivia fans, this is your night to shine! Join the nonprofit City Fruit online Sunday, October 25 at 5 p.m. for a virtual gala with a hard cider tasting, a Halloween costume contest, and trivia hosted by Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings, plus Senator Rebecca Saldaña and family in attendance. Trivia teams of up to five people can play for a chance to win a grand prize $500 gift certificate to James Beard-award winning restaurant Canlis, as well as other prizes. You can buy tickets and sign up for the cider tasting, trivia, or both here

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Eighth Annual AAPI Candidate Forum: Opportunities for Local Democracy in a Tough Year

by Joseph Shoji Lachman (ACRS), Derek Lum (InterIm CDA), Velma Veloria (EEC), Tweetie Fatuesi (UTOPIA Seattle), and other AAPI Candidate Forum planning committee members


For many of us in the South Seattle area and in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, 2020 has been a tough year in unprecedented ways. Events such as wildfires, presidential election politics, and of course above all else, the outbreak of COVID-19, have undoubtedly transformed our lives. Many of our community members are experiencing discrimination and economic distress that we haven’t felt in decades, and countless small businesses and organizations are struggling to survive. These difficulties are only magnified further for AAPIs without many of the protections that come with American citizenship and English fluency.

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