Category Archives: Voices

Opinion: SB 6282 Is A Poison Pill to Kill Desegregation of Advanced Learning Programs in SPS

By Vivian van Gelder and Bao Ng


Overcoming their usual reluctance to interfere with local control of public education, State legislators recently put forward a bill that would place significant obstacles in the way of desegregating Seattle Public Schools’ self-contained Highly Capable Cohort program. That program, in which white and affluent students are dramatically overrepresented, is the descendant of “gifted” programs originally created to stem white flight from Seattle Public Schools (SPS) during the busing era of the 1980s. Continue reading Opinion: SB 6282 Is A Poison Pill to Kill Desegregation of Advanced Learning Programs in SPS

Opinion: As a Mom and a Public Health Professional, I’m Celebrating Washington’s New Paid Leave Program 

by Zandrea Harlin


When I discovered I was pregnant about three years ago, my husband and I were thrilled. Almost immediately, we focused on figuring out what sort of parental leave we would be able to take. We were both working full-time, and we needed both incomes to cover our expenses.

I’m a huge policy nerd and I had studied this issue for years. I believed I understood the strengths and weaknesses of the paid leave policies in place at the time. Through my research and activism, I had much more knowledge than most as I tried to determine how long I’d be able to bond with my baby and recover from birth before returning to work. Continue reading Opinion: As a Mom and a Public Health Professional, I’m Celebrating Washington’s New Paid Leave Program 

“Fat Weirdos” for The Win: How to teach a Toddler About Difference and Not Raise a Jerk

by Sarah Stuteville


On a cozy Saturday morning as I ate blueberry pancakes, my then three-year-old son leaned into his godmother and announced, “You are a big, fat weirdo!”

Toddlers do all sorts of embarrassing things—from loudly discussing their genitals on public transportation to casually using the “f-word” when they drop a grape at a dinner party. But for me—a socially anxious empath—there is nothing more mortifying than watching my kid hurt someone’s feelings. Add a dash of political sensitivity aimed right at my how-to-raise-a-nice-white-boy angst, and you’ve summoned my perfect storm of social horror. Continue reading “Fat Weirdos” for The Win: How to teach a Toddler About Difference and Not Raise a Jerk

Opinion: What Black Lives Matter at School Is from the Perspective of a NAACP Youth Council Leader in Seattle

by Erica Ijeoma


In the fall of 2016, back when I was 14 years old, John Muir Elementary staff planned to wear Black Lives Matter shirts, partner with Black Men Uniting to Change the Narrative, and together greet their students, the majority of whom are Black, to school in hopes of uplifting them.

That was the whole event – high fives and a warm welcome.

But soon the press caught wind of this event, then the opposition. Backlash quickly followed, including a bomb threat. Due to the credibility of this threat, the district cancelled the event as they were concerned for the safety of students and bomb-sniffing dogs were sent out through the school that fall morning. Continue reading Opinion: What Black Lives Matter at School Is from the Perspective of a NAACP Youth Council Leader in Seattle

Opinion: Want to Make Space for Awakening in a Woke/Unwoke world?

by Julie Pham


A group of students, both white and people of color, get assigned to work together on a class project. After class, a few of them express dissatisfaction that some academic terms related to racism are used incorrectly. Another teacher, a white man, learns that the team is upset and approaches them to better understand their concerns. But no one in the group will talk to him about the issue.

After he leaves, one woman in the group says to the others, “One day, we’ll all be in the position of not knowing something. When that happens to me, I hope someone will be willing to share their views with me. I think we should talk to him.” Continue reading Opinion: Want to Make Space for Awakening in a Woke/Unwoke world?

Central District Community Members Hope Displacement Conversation With City Department Heads Leads to Overdue Policy Shifts

by Thea White


“The process of storytelling is itself a healing process, partly because you have someone there who is taking the time to tell you a story that has great meaning to them.”-Alice Walker

I grew up as a member of Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church on 15th and Fir, just two blocks northwest from the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI). Goodwill was my home outside of home. I wrote my first paper at early morning Sunday School, learned about advocacy work through the stories of my elders and built lifelong friendships serving on the usher board and youth choir. Continue reading Central District Community Members Hope Displacement Conversation With City Department Heads Leads to Overdue Policy Shifts

Perspective: Kobe, My Brother, and Me

by Marcus Harrison Green


Tears aren’t supposed to shed so hard for someone you’ve never met.

At least I believed that before today.

But not everyone helped me love my younger brother Antonio the way I do now.

I cried with him on the phone this afternoon after news reports confirmed that Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash, along with the 41-year-old’s daughter Gianna, and seven others. Continue reading Perspective: Kobe, My Brother, and Me

Aki Kurose Sending STEM Team to Prestigious Statewide Tech Competition

by Erin Okuno


Exciting things are happening at Aki Kurose Middle School. The sixth to eighth grade school, tucked between Rainier Ave and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, is sending their Technology Student Association (TSA) STEM Team to the state conference in March 2020. This is the fourth year the Aki Kurose team will be heading to the statewide competition. Continue reading Aki Kurose Sending STEM Team to Prestigious Statewide Tech Competition

Opinion: Celebrating the National Day of Racial Healing

by Melia LaCour 

Days of observance can be instrumental to our healing. They are sacred hallmarks in our lifetime. They call our attention away from the sedation of the daily grind to stop and reflect in community. During this life pause, we can truly remember, honor, mourn, celebrate, love or be in silent reflection. For just one day, we can stand together in the paradox of remembering by being present to our past. We can call forward our pain, our losses, our triumphs, our revolutionaries, our beloveds, our lessons and honor their impact on our lives for they are all fundamental to our healing evolution. Continue reading Opinion: Celebrating the National Day of Racial Healing