Category Archives: Feature

A Decade Old, Beacon Food Forest Evolves Into its Second Phase

by Chetanya Robinson


Every day, hundreds of commuters pass the Beacon Food Forest on their way to I-5 with no idea they are passing possibly one of the largest food forest projects on public land in the United States. This seven acre plot, is a trail-blazer for such urban permaculture projects around the world.

The Beacon Food Forest began in 2009 as a final project for a permaculture design course that co-founders Jacqueline Cramer and Glenn Herlihy were taking. During the course, the co-founders chose the Jefferson Park site and with community support, the City awarded grants to start the project. Continue reading A Decade Old, Beacon Food Forest Evolves Into its Second Phase

The Passion That Drives the Congolese Integration Network

The Congolese Integration Network helps Congolese immigrants find community as they settle in the Seattle area.

by Shadrak Musafiri


“I want to help, I know it’s challenging when you’re a new immigrant that comes to America, it’s really challenging to integrate into the American society,” said Managing Director Franciose Milinganyo, as she opened up about her commitment to passionately serving Congolese immigrants and refugees at the Congolese Integration Network (CIN). Continue reading The Passion That Drives the Congolese Integration Network

In Seattle, grandmothers raising kids have to rely on each other

(This article originally appeared on Crosscut and has been reprinted with permission.)

For kinship caregivers raising another family member’s children, state support lags behind assistance for foster parents.

by Dorothy Edwards


At ages 69 and 71, Sadie Pimpleton and Gloria Johnson are both well into retirement. But instead of relaxing, the sisters are raising their grandchildren as their own.

Johnson is caring for two grandchildren, while Pimpleton is providing a home to three, including a 6-month-old. It is challenging, they say, but Pimpleton and Johnson have always counted on each other for support.

“I guess we are like each others right hand,” Pimpleton said.

The challenges grew in 2014 after Pimpleton’s husband of 43 years passed away, leaving her in a state of depression.

“Even though I had the grandkids, I would stay in and not go anywhere,” Pimpleton said.

It was during this low point that the family met Alesia Cannady and learned about her support group for grandparents raising their grandkids. Soon the sisters were attending a regular meetup called Pepper Pot, which was run by Cannady’s nonprofit Women United Seattle, mostly out of her Skyway home.

Continue reading In Seattle, grandmothers raising kids have to rely on each other

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