Ann Okwuwolu, the creator of the festival, is a former medical technician who was inspired to start the celebration in 2016 when she recognized the lack of Black representation in New Holly Community events.
“Everything was geared towards other people. And so we didn’t have any visibility,” Okwuwolu said.
This Saturday, June 12, the local cultural hub, Black and Tan Hall (B & T Hall), will be hosting their Hall-i-Day party. Originally created as an event that promotes community businesses and supports local artists during the winter holiday season, B & T Hall is transitioning it to a seasonal event.
About two years ago, Julius Caesar founded “Laugh Rehab,” a monthly live comedy series in Seattle that featured both local and national comedians. After a long one year hiatus due to COVID, Caesar is proud to announce that Laugh Rehab is back and better than ever.
Laugh Rehab is all in the name, Caesar says explaining the show — “It’s rehab. It gives you an opportunity for an hour and a half to unplug from everything in your life and just chill, have a great laugh, meet some of your neighbors, and catch with friends you haven’t seen in a long time.”
Caesar envisions this monthly comedy series as more than just a show. Located at the Rainier Arts Center in Columbia City, it is a community event geared to revitalizing the neighborhood and safely bringing people back together after a year of isolation.
In 2020, we saw people across the country make their voices heard with an urgency America hasn’t witnessed in decades. We marched in cities from coast to coast to express the need for social justice in our country. We advocated for change, pushing for more equity and inclusion.
The core of our chorus in protest after protest, “Black Lives Matter,” is a demand for action — an insistent call to finally tend to the overdue work of elevating Black voices and centering Black experiences.
That call was heeded at the ballot box here in Washington State, with more Black candidates elected than ever before.
Now that we have transitioned into 2021, it is more important than ever to keep building that momentum beyond electoral politics. We must continue to lift our voices and advocate for change throughout our society.
The Emerald rounded up local Juneteenth events so you and yours can easily find ways to participate both in person and virtually in celebrations, marches, live streams, talks, activities for children, and more!
“We’re blacking out CHOP … the viral death of black bodies was the catalyst for this current movement and we need to make sure we remain focused. This means both policy and systemic change to our systems and healing space for black people.
“So that’s exactly what we’re creating. A series of events in which we center black healing and community.
“What we need from our non-black allies are donations of money and supplies and the willingness to support by quietly protecting sacred space for black healing. We need allies on the outskirts who are willing to be a physical barrier of protection and to peacefully deter potential interruptions.” Read full schedule of events in Facebook event details.
Donations of supplies, funds, and volunteer bodies on the ground at the event are requested from the organizers. Read event details for more on this and donate funds here.
Time: 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Where: CHOP — 1635 11th Ave (Cal Anderson Park) Cost: Free to attend
Announcements, events, and other stuff we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
NOTE: Beginning the week of Nov. 23, find upcoming events on our new Events page (next to “About” in the main menu). And on Nov. 25, we’ll begin posting “Weekly News Gleams” where we’ll round up relevant announcements and other info formerly added regularly to this post.
Announcement — 11/19/20: City of Seattle Announces $1.7M in funding to Support BIPOC-Led Organizations Impacted by COVID
From the City: Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the City of Seattle has worked quickly to launch COVID-19 relief programs including rent relief, expanding shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness, grocery vouchers for working families, direct cash assistance for immigrants and refugees, and financial assistance to small businesses. Residents and businesses can find a list of existing COVID-19 relief resources and policies on this website.
Following the recent announcement of $6 million in Equitable Development Initiative funding for site acquisition, capacity building, and capital improvements for community organizations fighting displacement, the Office of Planning and Community Development will provide an additional $1.7 million in funding to support BIPOC-led organizations that have been impacted by the pandemic. Awards of up to $50,000 will go out to 36 organizations to support community-based responses to the pandemic. You can find the full list of recipients here.
Rainier Ave Radio is giving away food this Saturday at their Central District location — steak and chicken, vegetables, dairy, fresh produce, bread, and even desserts from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
The event will be hosted outside on their deck, safely social distanced. Bring your own bag!
Rainier Avenue Radio wishes you a ver Happy Thanksgiving!
“Mothers For Police Accountability will present to the Community the
History of Weed and Seed in CD, that lead to People Remover or Gentrification. More information call 206-380-1710 Rev. Walden.” Kid-friendly
Time: 6–8 p.m. Where: Liberty Bank Building — 1405 24th Ave Cost: Free to attend
“In partnership with the Association of Black Social Work Students at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work, this community dialogue series invites and highlights voices and ideas from across the Black diaspora on important topics that inform the individual and collective Black experience. These moderated conversations center the voices of performing artists, mental health professionals, spiritual and body workers, writers, authors and more from across the northwest.
“February’s topic is Loving Black – Discussing the interpersonal and intimate relationships between Black people. Examining love between Black families in a historical context and how it connects to now. An open space to talk about stigmas, challenges, and the sweet parts of loving each other.”
Time: 7–9 p.m. Where: NAAM — 2300 S. Massachusetts St Cost: FREE (register via the Facebook event)
“In celebration of Black History Month, we’re partnering with the King County Library System and visual artist Michael B. Maine for the Blacks Making History Series! Every Thursday in February will feature a different event honoring the past, and looking towards the future in celebration of our local Black community. Join us this Thursday (Feb 6th) at 7pm for our first event, an all-star panel discussion at the Skyway Library about the evolution and endurance of Black political and social movements.
“Featured panelists include Kirsten Harris-Talley, Kelle J Brown, Dominique Davis, Brianna Thomas, and Michael Charles. The panel will be moderated by Marcus Harrison Green and Bridgette Hempstead (Founder of Cierra Sisters and Vice-President of The Emerald Board of Directors). All events are free and open to everyone!” Read full panelist bios in the Facebook event description.