Category Archives: Voices

OPINION: How to Think About Causes of Mass Shootings and What You Can Do

by Lora-Ellen McKinney, Ph.D.


On May 14, 2022, 10 people went grocery shopping in Buffalo, New York. They were murdered and yet more were injured by an 18-year-old white supremacist who drove four hours to a Black neighborhood with a legally purchased AR-15 automatic weapon. Less than a week later, 19 elementary school children were killed in Uvalde, Texas, targeted by an 18-year-old from their community in possession of legally acquired AR-15 rifles. Less than a week later, over the Memorial Day weekend, there were 17 mass shootings. As I write, police are managing the aftermath of a shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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OPINION: A Threat or an Opportunity for Black Community?

by Dr. Ben Danielson


Timing is important. So it is significant that, on the precipice of Juneteenth, Seattle Children’s Hospital decided to close the Yesler location for the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. This location, in the heart of Seattle’s Central District, had held on through years of gentrification as a Black community resource.

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OPINION: How the Overturn of Roe v. Wade Will Uniquely Impact Sex Workers

by Laura LeMoon


In 1973, SCOTUS heard the case of Roe v. Wade, which essentially brought into question the legality of an abortion ban in the state of Texas at the time. Back then, abortion was really only accessible in 13 states and only under certain circumstances; the remaining states outlawed abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman. Right-wing lawmakers have been chipping away at sex workers’ privacy for years now, and while sex workers’ rights activists have been sounding the alarm to the general public for a while, I believe there is something we can all still do to support sex workers now that Roe has been overturned. The first thing is to get educated — especially if you’re not a sex worker — about how sex workers will be uniquely impacted.

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OPINION: We Can Keep Our Schools and Communities Safe From Gun Violence

by Brad Blackburn III


I remember being in elementary school, huddled in the corner of a dark classroom as my teacher locked the door and instructed us to be silent. As I observed my peers, I noticed an array of behaviors in response to practicing the most terrifying scenario we could have imagined. Some stricken with anxiety, others silently crying with their heads in their laps, and others with smiles on their faces, chuckling ever so quietly as we conducted the active shooter drill. 

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OPINION: A Simple Change Could Save Lives. Our Police Reform System Ignores It.

by Dr. Howard Gale


The Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC) began meeting more than nine years ago in March of 2013. This commission was created following the tragic murder of John T. Williams by the SPD in 2010. As we will see below, the number of SPD killings has actually increased by 38% during the nine years after the CPC started meeting when compared to the nine years prior. The situation is even direr when it comes to the SPD killing of people experiencing a behavioral health crisis. This increase suggests that the CPC’s work has done nothing to curtail the worst consequence of police violence and abuse.

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OPINION: Mental Health Crisis Should Not Be a Death Sentence

by Douglas Wagoner and Nia Franco


The Seattle Police Department has a history of violent responses to people in mental health crises that result in minimal to no discipline for the offending officer. Often, following these shooting deaths, the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) will recommend changes to policies and training. While these changes are necessary, they are meaningless if officers are not held accountable for violating policies and their training.

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OPINION: Fatherhood Is a Journey to Be Celebrated

by Cortez Charles


In my experience, the journey into fatherhood isn’t celebrated the way it often is for mothers. In a lot of cases, mothers get together with friends and family and have exciting gender reveals and immaculate baby showers. There is a wave of support and excitement around new moms. For expecting fathers, in a lot of cases, it’s the exact opposite. The news is often met with negativity and an obscene amount of pressure to provide, to love, and to protect, as those are viewed as key aspects of being a “man.” But now, it’s being a man and a father, and that puts a lot of pressure on men entering fatherhood, often without community offering them the additional support that they need.

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OPINION: As We Celebrate Juneteenth, We Must Honor Our Past While Fighting for Our Future

by Derrick Wheeler-Smith


Three years ago, I had the privilege to stand on the shores of Point Comfort (today’s Fort Monroe) in Hampton, Virginia, with hundreds of other African Americans to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first landing of enslaved Africans in English North America. Standing at the Ellis Island of African America 400 years ago, I imagined what their perilous landing must’ve been like. What I know for sure is that their presence profoundly impacted the cultural manifest of America’s past, yet their descendants remain subject to socioeconomic and political disparities today.

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