Category Archives: Feature

From Si’ahl to Seattle: Does A Wealthy City Owe Its First Residents Reparations?

by Marcus Harrison Green


This story is published in collaboration with Bitterroot, an online magazine about the politics, economy, culture, and environment of the West.


When she speaks, Rachel Heaton’s ancestors flourish as they did for millennia, until the 1860s. They flow from longhouses grouped into villages scattered around 54,000 acres of lush marshes near Elliott Bay and the Cedar and Green Rivers. After hunting ducks on the tidelands and harvesting salmonberries in coastal forests, they assemble to feast on the largesse.

“Every time I give an acknowledgement, I intentionally ask people to reflect on what the land looked like — our villages, our people,” said Heaton, a 40-year-old activist of Duwamish lineage and an enrolled member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. Continue reading From Si’ahl to Seattle: Does A Wealthy City Owe Its First Residents Reparations?

Swatting: A Deadly Twenty-First Century Prank

by George Collins

It was another ordinary visit to the Madrona-Sally Goldmark branch of the Seattle Public Library for Reymon Leavell. The 25-year-old man visits the library every day to kill time.

But things took a turn for the worse on that August day in 2018 when police entered the library with weapons drawn in response to a 911 call from someone claiming to be at the library. The caller told dispatch his girlfriend had killed herself the day before, he had a gun in his pocket, and he was going to pull the trigger. Officers handcuffed the bewildered Leavell and searched him for weapons. Continue reading Swatting: A Deadly Twenty-First Century Prank

Farming For Change: Native Women’s Legacy of Sustainability

by Sharon H. Chang

Girls and women, Indigenous people and land practices, and small organic farms are among the top solutions to ending climate change. Yet women and gender diverse people have almost no voice on big agribusiness boards while people of color are often rendered entirely voiceless as America’s sustainable food movement, dominated by white people, ignores the food, climate, and environmental injustices faced by communities of color. In this special Emerald series, photographer and writer Sharon H. Chang introduces the women and nonbinary farmers of color at the heart of Washington’s agrarian revival movement who are moving the needle towards not only a future livable planet, but a socially just one. 

It is estimated up to 29 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from unsustainable food systems, a big chunk of which comes from large-scale, mono-cropping farms in the global north. According to a comprehensive report released by the United Nations, combatting climate change will require major changes to management of farmland and food. Project Drawdown, a research organization that identifies the most viable solutions to the current climate crisis, asserts it will mean valuing Indigenous wisdom and farming. Why? Because Indigenous people, who have been stewarding the land since time immemorial, have been practicing and developing sustainable agriculture for thousands of years. Continue reading Farming For Change: Native Women’s Legacy of Sustainability

Air Quality Is Better Everywhere But The West. Blame Wildfires

by Katherine Long

(This story originally appeared in Bitterroot, an online magazine about the politics, economy, culture, and environment of the West.)

After wildfires ripped through California this fall, the plumes of smoke that enveloped the state underscored how millions of people living in the West are being exposed to air pollution. Climate change is likely to make fire and smoke problems worse. What that means for our health, though, is just starting to be understood by researchers. Continue reading Air Quality Is Better Everywhere But The West. Blame Wildfires

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Vietnamese veterans continue to feel war’s lasting impact

In honor of Veterans’ Day, we wanted to bring back this story from 2016. Though at least one person referenced in this piece is no longer alive (Anthony Bourdain), it nevertheless continues to be relevant for Vietnamese veterans and their descendants.

by Jeff Nguyen

Every year a huge celebration for Vietnamese veterans is held in Orange County, California. My grandfather, a veteran of the Vietnam War and proud member of the Vietnamese community, watches it religiously, staring intensely at the TV set. The pride on his face is evident as the color guard marches on stage carrying a bright yellow flag emblazoned with three red stripes.

He changes the channel to watch news about Vietnam’s state of affairs. Today it’s a mix between President Barack Obama’s recent visit to eat Pho with Anthony Bourdain and the arrests of more native journalists and bloggers, their faces forming a mosaic as the network illustrates the scale of the crackdown.

In a sense, he is still home and war hasn’t ended. Continue reading FROM THE ARCHIVES: Vietnamese veterans continue to feel war’s lasting impact

These women entrepreneurs lead by example to empower youth, strengthen the community

By Carolyn Bick

October is National Women’s Small Business Month. Across the United States, 11.6 million businesses are woman-owned. The Emerald chatted with three Seattle-based women entrepreneurs of color about the hurdles they faced in starting their own businesses, and why they believe visibility in the community is so important.

Continue reading These women entrepreneurs lead by example to empower youth, strengthen the community

Othello Block Party Centers Community, Arts This Saturday

by Emerald Staff

Community is more than just a cluster of residential buildings—it’s the person-to-person connections.

The Othello Block Party is bringing that spirit to South Seattle with a celebration of art, culture, music, and community in the South End. Saturday afternoon and evening, Othello Station will play host to visual and performing arts, supporting artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and organizers.

Continue reading Othello Block Party Centers Community, Arts This Saturday