Washington children are now the first in the nation to have the option of attending early learning programs based entirely outdoors.
A bill passed this year made Washington the first state in the country to allow service providers to offer full-day outdoor, nature-based early learning options to families with young children. Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5151 into law on May 13, giving his stamp of approval to a project that started in 2017 when the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) began a four-year pilot program for outdoor preschools that tested out a system for licensing nature-based, outdoor child care and early learning programs.
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.
We also post the Morning Update Show here on theEmerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Thursday, June 17
LIVE — Rev. Harriett Walden | LIVE — Carol Wallace of PSE | Juneteenth Federal Holiday | Investments in Gun Violence Disruption
Seattle Civic Poet Jourdan Imani Keith, in partnership with Jack Straw Cultural Center and her cohort, Women and Whales First, Poetry in a Climate of Change, is releasing a limited podcast series by the same name. The series will feature seven episodes which will be released every Saturday, beginning on Juneteenth.
The goal is to “bring awareness to the intersection of Orca Awareness Month and ancestral legacy,” Keith said.
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)
Hand-sized stickers bearing a rainbow-colored police badge are ubiquitous in storefront windows around Seattle. They are the calling card of the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) “Safe Place” program, a 6-year-old project that theoretically recruits business owners to provide shelter to victims of hate crimes and to report hate crimes to the department. The project doesn’t cost the department much — stickers, printed materials, and a single staff member are the only expenses. But whether it has made a difference for victims of hate crimes is still hard to discern.
On Jan. 14, 2021, the Office of the Corrections Ombuds (OCO) published a report summarizing numerous cases of delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment by the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC), highlighting the ways in which DOC’s negligence has led to several preventable prisoner deaths.
In yet another example of DOC’s negligence, the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCC-W) has been rebuffing a prisoner’s requests for treatment for rapid development of potentially cancerous tumors for years. Several years ago, Patricia Teafatiller noticed a mass on her neck. A year and a half ago, a second lump developed along her spine. Patricia sought medical care and was told it was just a knot in her neck. She was subsequently informed she had degenerative disk disease to explain away the mass on her spine, saying nothing of her symptoms and masses in other locations. The lumps have continued to grow, more masses have appeared, and none have diminished. Her neck has grown increasingly stiff; she describes it as feeling like it is in a vice, with a grinding, popping sensation whenever she moves her chin towards her chest. The results of the ultrasound that was eventually ordered were inconclusive, warranting an MRI and/or biopsy to confirm whether the masses are benign or malignant — the standard of care in any medical practice.
by Raven Two Feathers in collaboration with Julie Keck
Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.
June is commonly recognized in the United States as Pride Month, a tight 30 days during which LGBTQIA+ folks, whom for brevity I’ll refer to as queer in this piece, are typically expected to embrace being out and proud. Before pandemic times, parades and throbbing beats and feather boas were abundant; corporations are still leaning hard on adding rainbow filters to their logos. However, not as many people know June is also Indigenous History Month in Canada which has bled into the U.S. through proximity and because the same genocidal tactics are happening on both sides of the border. This month lies at the intersection of queerness and Indigeneity, which is especially lovely, because so do many of my loved ones, including yours truly.
Osiyo, Sgeno, Nya:wëh sgë:nö’, Haa marúawe, ʔi, syaʔyaʔ. Hello, my name is Raven Two Feathers; I’m Cherokee, Seneca, Cayuga, and Comanche. I live on Coast Salish territory, commonly known as Seattle. I am from Pueblo, Diné, and Apache territory (Albuquerque, New Mexico). I’m an Emmy-award winning creator with a B.F.A. in film production, and most pertinent, I’m Two Spirit and trans masculine. No need to worry if this is the first time learning the term Two Spirit: I wrote a whole comic about my journey toward better understanding myself called Qualifications of Being. It includes a primer on what it means to be Two Spirit on page 25. You can read it here for free!
South End ice cream fans have good cause to celebrate — Creamy Cone Cafe officially opened in Rainier Beach on Memorial Day weekend. The Black-owned, family-run ice cream cafe at 9433 Rainier Avenue South features root beer floats, sundaes, in-house-made waffle cones, coffee drinks, and 12 rotating ice cream flavors from local creameries.
Decked out in playful neon colors, including a small selection of outdoor seating, Creamy Cone Cafe brings sweet treats to a community that was in need of its own ice cream shop.
For owner and South End resident Ashanti Mayfield, her sister Alexis Jones, and their families, ice cream is a regular part of family time and celebrations. But getting to an ice cream shop is a bit of a drive for people in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. Ashanti and her family would frequent Full Tilt Ice Cream in Columbia City or Cold Stone Creamery in Tukwila. “Between those two, those were our cheer-up moments — going to get ice cream and just having a family outing together,” Ashanti said. “As far as ice cream goes, the South End needed [a shop].”
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
King County Completes 70% Vaccination, Local Health Officer’s Mask Directive to End June 29
From the source: “King County Executive Dow Constantine announced on Tuesday, June 15, that 70% of King County residents have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series — the largest county in the nation to reach 70% among adult residents. The first vaccines were administered in King County six months ago on Dec. 16, and King County initially set a goal to vaccinate 70% of its eligible population by the end of June.
“With more than 1.3 million residents over age 16 completing their vaccine series, the community vaccination level will also end the Local Health Officer mask directive in two weeks on June 29.
“Public Health – Seattle & King County will continue working to close vaccination disparities with outreach to communities that remain under the 70% threshold, including areas of south King County as well as the Black and Hispanic communities.”
For more information about the King County Indoor Masking Directive, visit the following Public Health – Seattle & King county webpage.
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.