Category Archives: Voices

OPINION: Domestic Workers Continue to Deserve Better

by Dana Barnett and Silvia Gonzalez


The antiracist roots of Seattle’s Domestic Worker Ordinance, which had its first anniversary on July 1, aren’t immediately obvious nearly a century after most other workers gained basic workplace protections. But there is a deep connection between anti-Black racism, the legacy of slavery, and the long fight for domestic worker protections. 

Continue reading OPINION: Domestic Workers Continue to Deserve Better

OPINION: What Teachers Should Know About the Experience of Being a Black Student in Seattle Public Schools

by Ramone Johnson 


My name is Ramone Johnson and I’m 17 years old. I’m from Illinois originally, and ever since I’ve been to school out here in Washington, any situation in school has been blasted way out of proportion. I want to share my experience to help students and teachers understand each other and learn to value every student and make schools a better environment for everyone.

I started recognizing I was being treated differently as one of the only Black kids in my Seattle middle school. The school administration and security guards came as hard as they possibly could towards me. If I called out the way they were treating me differently than other students, they would call me disruptive and send me out of the classroom. It’s like they wanted to prove a point when I refused to adapt to their environment. I watched them give some students extra time to finish assignments, and they wouldn’t do the same for me. What made him better than me? We were both students that needed help. Instead, they’d treat me like a terrorist. They’d have the cop and school security guard following me around all day and blame me for things I didn’t do.

Continue reading OPINION: What Teachers Should Know About the Experience of Being a Black Student in Seattle Public Schools

OPINION: Crisis Management Is What Doctors Do Every Day. The Police Can and Must Do Better.

by Dr. Daniel H. Low, Dr. Amish J. Dave, and Dr. Rajneet S. Lamba


In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, a broad array of activists and public figures have called for defunding the police in towns and cities across the nation. For many Americans, police officers are often the first responders to small and large crises. While surveys suggest much of the public wants police reform, there is concern that defunding efforts could erode the safety of our communities. Other voices argue that mere police reform is insufficient. Research has shown that measures such as implicit bias training, body cam usage, and firing problem officers with a history of misconduct have not led to meaningful change. In the interest of public safety, we are all vested in understanding how acute crises would be addressed if we were to defund police departments.

Continue reading OPINION: Crisis Management Is What Doctors Do Every Day. The Police Can and Must Do Better.

On Making Sense of Anti-Blackness in America as an Immigrant Person of Colour

by Ruchika Tulshyan


It was apparent to me from the moment I immigrated to the United States in 2012 that civil unrest was coming. The seeds of despair were sown in this country long before any of us were born.

Moving to Atlanta eight years ago forced me to confront social inequities I didn’t believe existed in the West. The last time I’d had to examine them so closely was when I lived in India two years prior. 

It was clear that there was a wealthy (White) Atlanta and a poor (Black) one. At lunch, the media organization I worked for was divided into Black tables and White tables. As a Brown Indian woman from Singapore, I was often caught in the middle. Many wealthy CEOs I interviewed as a business reporter would make off-the-cuff remarks about how “Atlanta was doomed because we can’t have a good White mayor” and how I should “stay away from Black people.”

Continue reading On Making Sense of Anti-Blackness in America as an Immigrant Person of Colour

OPINION: A Good Time to Rethink Our Holiday Celebrations

by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña


The Fourth of July was my least favorite holiday as a child.  While it usually meant good weather and barbecue, inevitably some argument about who got to light the fireworks would erupt. With increasing awareness of the history of the United States’ independence, and the many ways we have yet to deliver on the promise of liberty and justice for all, the celebration of our Independence Day has begun to feel a bit hollow. In my social media community, it seems I’m not alone in experiencing a whole mix of emotions and questions about how to mark this Fourth of July. Continue reading OPINION: A Good Time to Rethink Our Holiday Celebrations

Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home With KCLS: Black Lives Matter

by Maggie Block 

At the beginning of Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, the King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald teamed up to offer digital book recommendations to help readers get through the pandemic shutdown. While there may be more opportunities to get out and about now, many of us continue to spend time at home and could still use some great reading material to consume during the reopening process.  Continue reading Stay-at-Home, Read-at-Home With KCLS: Black Lives Matter

OPINION: CHOP Not the Beginning, and it’s Not the End

by Seattle Black Collective Voice


A man had been murdered by the police. A heartbreaking video of the killing had made it to the internet. Thousands watched as a policeman kneeled on George Floyd’s neck, while Mr. Floyd begged for his life in vain.  

Like protesters across the country, Seattle took a stand against police brutality only to experience more police brutality firsthand. Even non-protesters were harmed by the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) negligence. On Capitol Hill, tear gas entered people’s homes and businesses, and the police did not care. 

SPD voluntarily abandoned Capitol Hill’s East Precinct, and the neighborhood tone changed to one of collaboration. In a city physically divided by wealth and class, people came together around a common goal: ending police violence against the Black community.

Continue reading OPINION: CHOP Not the Beginning, and it’s Not the End

Life on the Margins Special Episode: Pandemic, Racial Justice and the Arts

by Enrique Cerna, Jini Palmer, and Marcus Harrison Green


Episode Summary

We look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement on artists and performers in communities of color. We talk with writer and author Reagan Jackson, Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna plus singer and “The Voice” alum Stephanie Anne Johnson. Each brings a unique perspective on how this year of pandemic and social change has affected them personally and professionally. Continue reading Life on the Margins Special Episode: Pandemic, Racial Justice and the Arts