Category Archives: Voices

Different Kinds of Harm: Why I’ll Think Twice Before Taking Another Self-Defense Class

by Shin Yu Pai


The first thing that I signed up for after getting my second Moderna vaccine was a self-defense workshop for women held outdoors in a public park. While I’ve missed going to the gym and seeing friends play live music, my mind has been on the other ways in which life has changed during the pandemic. My nervous system has been on high alert since the Atlanta spa shootings in March. Concerned friends suggested that I take a class with a women-led dojo that quietly organized a self-defense class based on local demand and word of mouth.

For the past four months, the media has been dominated by images of Asian women, who look like me, under constant attack. We are bludgeoned by hammers, stabbed at bus stops, beaten on the street, punched in the face. Here in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, a local Japanese high school teacher’s face was bashed beyond recognition by an assailant using rocks hidden inside a sock. 

When I got to my class, our instructor, or cefu, said that 80% of attacks are enacted by someone the victim knows. She said the chances of being attacked with a weapon are also relatively low — it’s those assaults that make it into the news, skewing public perception. I took this information in, thinking of the cell phone and security camera video footage that seems to pop up on my Twitter feed at least once a week, documenting horrible crimes against Asian women. I resisted the urge to raise my hand in protest. 

Continue reading Different Kinds of Harm: Why I’ll Think Twice Before Taking Another Self-Defense Class

OPINION: We Cannot Continue to Ignore Human Trafficking

by Stephanie Bowman and Mar Brettmann


Does Seattle Have Slavery?

After a year of travel restrictions, empty middle seats, and deserted terminals, air travel is back. Airport officials at Sea-Tac International Airport (SEA) are reporting the busiest weekends since the pandemic began as millions of Americans follow through on long-delayed vacations and trips. 

The typical air traveler may be concerned about long security lines or crowded flights. But there is another more sinister danger that airport employees and travelers alike must be alerted to — human trafficking. 

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My Child of Color Is ‘Highly Capable.’ Now What? — Part 3

by Jasmine M. Pulido

In this final article of a three-part series, Jasmine M. Pulido explores the future of programs for students designated highly capable in Seattle Public Schools.


The Future of Highly Capable Cohort: From HCC to HCS

Highly capable services are deemed part of basic education by state law, but the cohort is not. Starting in the 2022–2023 school year, the district’s Advanced Learning Department will begin a six-year plan to phase out the cohort model while gradually phasing in a new model. The recently amended changes to School Board Policy 2190, “Highly Capable Services and Advanced Learning Programs,” convert this accelerated curriculum cohort model (HCC) into an inclusive and accessible service model (Highly Capable Services or HCS) to meet the needs of students at their neighborhood school. In other words, SPS will no longer focus on searching for and separating “gifted students” from the general student population and will, instead, focus on having flexible services available to all students. HCS will still include an accelerated curriculum but can also include services like enriched learning opportunities, classroom pullouts for advanced content on a specific subject, and cluster groups depending on what best meets the individual student’s needs. In short, Highly Capable Cohort as a self-contained setting for advanced students will be completely dismantled and phased out.

Timeline depicting the possible elementary implementation.
Timeline depicting the possible elementary implementation, where the Highly Capable Cohort program would be dismantled and phased out. Sourced from Seattle Public Schools.
Continue reading My Child of Color Is ‘Highly Capable.’ Now What? — Part 3

Seedcast: Getting Back to the Dirt

by Edgar Franks

Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.


I grew up in the 1980s in Texas in a family of migrant farmworkers. We spent half of the year in Texas; the other half of the year we lived in Washington State. When I was about 6 or 7, my mom settled in Skagit County, and I’ve been here pretty much ever since then. At age 10, I joined my family members at work. I grew up in the fields and stayed there for a decade and a half.

These days I spend most of my time serving as the political director for an independent farmworker union called Familias Unidas por La Justicia (FUJ). While most people associate unions with strikes, work stoppages, and picket lines, my day-to-day job at FUJ is based in quieter activities. I mostly talk one-on-one with members of the union, whom I consider to be my bosses, prioritizing my tasks based on what they need. I help with work-related problems but also rent-related or immigration-related issues. Care for our members extends past the fields and into the lives of their families.

In June, for example, we focused on getting ready for berry harvesting season — strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry — going out to sites of employment and letting workers know about their rights. When it’s safe to travel, I also represent the union across the state and country as well as around the world, coordinating initiatives with partners then reporting back to our executive committee and our workers. I enjoy my work and the people I get to work for. I’m lucky.

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OPINION: It’s Time for Richard Sherman to Come Home

by Glenn Nelson 


It’s time to bring Richard Sherman home. And by “home” I mean the Seattle Seahawks, especially, but also possibly the San Francisco 49ers or one of the two NFL teams representing Los Angeles, where Sherman grew up. Any place, that is, where he can get the kind of hug he obviously needs — and deserves.

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Chino Y Chicano Podcast: Girmay Zahilay

by Enrique Cerna and Matt Chan

A couple of retired guys that spent their careers making television dish on the good, bad, and ridiculousness of life for People of Color in America. They tear apart the news of the week, explore the complexities of race, and talk to people far more interesting than they will ever be.


Girmay Zahilay joins the Chino Y Chicano to talk about his first year and a half on the King County Council. It has been a rollercoaster of crises from COVID-19 to police violence and racial justice protests, a growing homelessness and gun violence problem, and now a reopening of the state as vaccination efforts continue. Zahilay reflects on a council experience that so far has been full of emotion, and unpredictability.

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Why I’m The Best Candidate for South Seattle: Lorena González

The Emerald invited top mayoral to tell readers why they deserve South Seattle’s vote. Voters have until Aug. 3 to cast their vote in the primary election.

My Plan for a Thriving South Seattle 

by Lorena González 


I loved living in South Park, one of Seattle’s most vibrant, diverse neighborhoods. Like many of South Seattle’s culturally rich neighborhoods in our city, South Park also suffers disproportionately from the impacts of systemic racism and economic inequality. 

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Why I’m the Best Candidate for South Seattle: Andrew Grant Houston

The Emerald invited top mayoral candidates to tell readers why they deserve South Seattle’s vote. Voters have until Aug. 3 to cast their vote in the primary election.

by Andrew Grant Houston


My name is Andrew Grant Houston, and I am the best candidate for South Seattle because I will take action. I’m not a lawyer or career politician, disconnected from the everyday experience of Seattleites. As a queer, Black, and Latino renter, I am the only candidate who doesn’t own a home. I ride the bus and frequent our small local businesses. We know South Seattle is ready for someone who looks like us, represents the South End, and understands the lived experiences of those most affected by our City’s policies. 

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