Tag Archives: Amanda Ong

Free Maddesyn George: Native Mother and Survivor Faces Hearing

by Amanda Ong

In July of 2020, Maddesyn George, a 27-year-old Native mother and member of the Colville Confederated Tribes in Eastern Washington, was raped by a white man named Kristopher Graber. George had considered Graber a friend, but after refusing to let her leave his home, he allegedly assaulted her while taunting her with a gun. George fled the scene with Graber’s gun, a sugar-packet amount of methamphetamine, and some of his other possessions. The next morning, Graber came looking for George on the Colville Reservation in northeastern Washington. In front of several witnesses, Graber then attacked George. Terrified, she shot him with his gun. Graber died instantly. 

This Wednesday, Nov. 17, is George’s sentencing hearing. She is being charged with voluntary manslaughter and drug possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. She will be heard by the U.S. District Court in Spokane. Because the shooting occurred on a reservation and falls under the Major Crimes Act, a law that dictates that certain crimes committed by Native people on Native territory fall under federal jurisdiction, George is being prosecuted on the federal level by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. 

According to George’s attorney, Steve Graham, George has already accepted a plea deal to avoid up to 45 years in prison. However, she still faces up to 17 years in federal prison in California, over 1,000 miles away from her 20-month-old daughter, Shynne. This potential sentence is despite federal advisory guidelines suggesting less than 11 years.

“She’s a very strong person, she doesn’t let people walk over her,” George’s mother, Jody George, said in an interview with the Emerald. “She knows you got to stick up for yourself, nobody else is gonna do it. And I know my mom raised me that way. And we’ve got all sisters and my grandma had all sisters and it’s a strong family of women. That is what we’ve come from, and she’s all about family.” 

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24-Hour Asian American Play Festival Aims to Diversify Asian Stories in Theatre

by Amanda Ong

The oldest Asian American theatre group in the Pacific Northwest will put on a 24-hour play festival this Saturday, Nov. 13. Pork Filled ProductionsResilience! An AAPI 24-Hour Play Festival will showcase seven 10-minute plays, conceived, written, rehearsed, and performed all within 24 hours. Each play will be put on by a team of distinguished Asian American writers, directors, and actors. The online production will be livestreamed on Youtube

Pork Filled Productions was founded in Seattle in 1998 as an Asian American sketch comedy group dedicated to blending community activism with theatre. While their genres have expanded in years since to include science fiction, noir, fantasy, steampunk, and more, they have continued their mission to imagine fantastical universes informed by diverse perspectives. 

Resilience! was conceived by senior producer Kendall Uyeji in response to the surge of Asian hate crimes and the #StopAsianHate movement in the spring of 2021, particularly after the shooting of six massage parlor workers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Uyeji said he felt he wanted to do something to help raise the profile of the movement. “We want to write about the now,” he told the Emerald. “And the best way to write about the now is to literally have [playwrights] write the night of and then produce it the next day.”

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Where to Celebrate Diá de los Muertos in the South End and Beyond

by Amanda Ong

Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican and Latinx holiday honoring those who have passed through celebration, dance, offerings, art, and food. Just following Halloween, Día de los Muertos is celebrated on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. It is a joyful celebration and remembrance of family and friends who have died. Scenes of colorful flowers and dresses, skeleton painted faces, and decorated altars are all hallmarks of this holiday. 

This year, we rounded up an assortment of events in Seattle,  South King County, and beyond. Be sure to check them out for days of celebration, rich cultural traditions, and more. If we missed an event and you would like us to add it, please fill out our event form here.

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