Category Archives: Voices

The Joys and Risks of Being a Black Birdwatcher in Rainier Beach

by Glenn Nelson


During the wee hours of Sunday morning, a Black man and his mixed-race, Black and Latinx friend meet in front of Be’er Sheva Park in Rainier Beach. They are wearing caps and face masks and carrying binoculars. The air holds a chill and a foreboding sky wrings out a steady drizzle.

Continue reading The Joys and Risks of Being a Black Birdwatcher in Rainier Beach

OPINION: Defund Police and Defend Black Lives — Why We Rally

by Ty Brown


What we are seeing today is not just about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and the horrific, continuous list of our murdered brothers and sisters — may they rest in power. This is about systemic injustice and systemic racism that has plagued this continent and our neighborhoods for 400 years.

These tragedies are constant reminders of the hate crimes, police brutality and systematic injustice the Black community faces far too frequently.

In Olympia, we’re thinking about our neighbors who have faced police brutality, negligence, and lost their lives due to an over-militarized and over-funded force: Yvonne McDonald, who died in mysterious circumstances; Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, who were shot at by Olympia police and then each sentenced to prison terms; and Jackie Salyers, a Puyallup tribal member fatally shot by police in 2016.

Continue reading OPINION: Defund Police and Defend Black Lives — Why We Rally

OPINION: Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County Responds to Recent Protests and Actions by the City of Seattle & Mayor Durkan

by Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County


Despite various media reports, Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County has had no role in any of the protests that have occurred in the greater Seattle area.

Last week we cautioned our communities to not participate in protests due to COVID-19; which Black and other people of color are disproportionately impacted by. However, while we didn’t want to encourage people to risk their health protesting, we understood the need and demand for direct community support. This is why our organization has donated to bail funds across the country, and soon after created our own bail fund to provide local support. Members of our board have been at county jails every day, supporting those who have been arrested at these protests. We have also created a protestor safety guide to encourage further community safety while demonstrating. Continue reading OPINION: Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County Responds to Recent Protests and Actions by the City of Seattle & Mayor Durkan

A Call to White People: It’s Time to Live in the Answer

by Melia LaCour


This is a call to White people. No, this is not a list of ten things you can do to end racism. Nor is this a multi-step roadmap to guide you from racist to ally.  And no, this is not a solvent to relieve white guilt. This is in fact a call, erupting from the soil, soaked with the blood of my Black ancestors who have suffered multi-generational trauma from the intentional destruction and lynching of beautiful Black people. The call is to fully step into your role in the fight for justice. 

This call has resounded for generations. Why won’t you hear us? 

Continue reading A Call to White People: It’s Time to Live in the Answer

OPINION: Every Breath is a Blessing

by Angelique Davis


49941217352_16007dc4e4_k(1)
Portrait of George Floyd by Dan Lacey

George Floyd murdered. Seven shot protesting the killing of Breonna Taylor. Amy Cooper.

All in one week, and it feels like just the tip of the iceberg. Racial battle fatigue is real.

In Toni Morrison’s essay, No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear she recounts a conversation with a friend after the re-election of George Bush. She couldn’t work. She couldn’t write. Instead of offering solace, her friend shouted, “No! No, no, no! This is precisely the time when artists go to work—not when everything is fine, but in times of dread. That’s our job!” Continue reading OPINION: Every Breath is a Blessing

OPINION: What’s it like to be striking for your life in a pandemic? (Seguridad y Salud)

by Johnny Mao and Johnny Fikru



Farmworkers are striking for their families and for everyone in Washington State. Without receiving the necessary protections for COVID-19, they pose a danger to the ones they love — and that is simply unjust. 

Four-hundred and fifty farmworkers at six different fruit packaging plants have decided to protect their lives and health with the only option they have left: strikes, pickets and hunger strikes. They are demanding protections from COVID-19, hazard pay, and an end to retaliation from management. This is all taking place in the county with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases spiking on the West Coast.

Continue reading OPINION: What’s it like to be striking for your life in a pandemic? (Seguridad y Salud)

OPINION: Lawmakers Must Invest in a Cash Stimulus for the People Who Drive Our Economy

by Emily Vyhnanek and Margaret Babayan

(This piece was originally published on the Washington State Budget & Policy Center blog.)


COVID-19 has exposed just how many people across the state were one paycheck away from being unable to meet their basic needs. People who were experiencing economic hardship before this crisis are falling further behind. Federal action to expand unemployment protections and provide stimulus payments were important first steps, but too many people — especially undocumented workers — were excluded, and much more needs to be done to ensure everyone can meet their needs while staying safe.

Continue reading OPINION: Lawmakers Must Invest in a Cash Stimulus for the People Who Drive Our Economy

OPINION: Mayor Durkan, if You Care about Public Health, Stop the Sweeps

by Julianna Alson, Omid Bagheri Garakani, Miranda Vargas


Dear Mayor Durkan,

We are Seattle-based public health practitioners and homeless service providers imploring you to stop the removals of homeless encampments. We also endorse Councilmember Morales’ Council Bill 119796 to limit encampment removals during the state of emergency. Seattle is under the national spotlight of pandemic response. You have the choice to set an example for the country with evidence-based public health strategies that truly protect public health and safety.

Continue reading OPINION: Mayor Durkan, if You Care about Public Health, Stop the Sweeps

Ask a Therapist: How Can I Keep a Divorce From Impacting My Children?

by Roy Fisher


Question: I’m going through a divorce and my soon-to-be ex-wife does anything she can do to get under my skin. Every chance she gets she tries to take me back to court for something. She seems to enjoy making my life miserable. We have 3 children and I am worried what impact this will have on them. If I try for sole custody, that makes me look like I’m trying to keep the children away from her. I want them to have a relationship with their mother, but I am concerned about what she says or does around them. Any suggestions on how not to lose my mind? I’m really worried about how this will affect the children.

Continue reading Ask a Therapist: How Can I Keep a Divorce From Impacting My Children?