by Susan Fried
The Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and accompanying events, hosted by Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition (Seattle MLK), is one of the longest-running MLK Jr. Day celebrations in the country. This year, Seattle MLK adapted to the realities of COVID-19 and, instead of the usual job fair and rally held inside Garfield High School, the 39th-annual event was held entirely online and outside. In-person events on January 18 began in the parking lot in front of Garfield High with a rally that included a speech by Sean Goode, executive director of Choose 180 — an organization designed to help keep youth out of the criminal justice system — as well as performances by singers Sydney Coleman and Nyshae Griffin, and a presentation of a plaque honoring long-time Seattle MLK committee member, Tony Orange, given to his wife. Then, about a thousand people marched downtown to 4th Avenue and held another small rally.
Continue reading Seattle’s 39th Annual MLK Jr. March and Celebration
On their way downtown, the marchers stopped briefly at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic to show respect for Dr. Ben Danielson, the former senior medical director there, who recently resigned due to allegations of institutional racism at parent organization, Seattle Children’s Hospital. The marchers then continued down Yesler Way to 4th Ave. where another small rally was held, highlighting and critiquing the juvenile justice system, with speeches by civil rights attorney Sadé Smith and performances by D’Mario Carter and E-Rich.
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Michael Seiwerath thrives at the intersection of affordable housing and the arts.
For more than a decade, Seiwerath oversaw fund development, governmental relations, and communications for Community Roots Housing, formerly Capitol Hill Housing, where he was vice president of advancement and external affairs. He was also the founding executive director of Community Roots Housing Foundation, an independent nonprofit which helped fund Community Roots.
Continue reading New SEED Exec. Dir. Michael Seiwerath Brings 20+ Years of Arts, Nonprofit, and Affordable Housing Expertise to South End
by Shasti Conrad
It is the best of times and the worst of times. A time to celebrate the inauguration of a new president and a history-making vice president. Yet this is also a time of insurrection, impeachment, and a Republican party that continues to fail to take any accountability for lies and inaction in our nation’s capital and here at home.
This is a tale of two pandemics.
Continue reading A Tale of Two Pandemics
by Melia LaCour
Today is the Fifth-Annual National Day of Racial Healing. Across the country, thousands of people will gather to engage in racial healing programs, discussions, and virtual forums in service of creating a more equitable country.
Launched in 2016 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in partnership with hundreds of racial justice activists across the United States, today’s observance comes at a time when our hearts are yearning for it most. With violent surges of white nationalism, the continued devastating rampage of COVID-19 disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), the sanctioned murder of Black people, many of us are feeling unfathomable grief, righteous rage, and utter depletion. The need for racial healing is urgent.
So, what does racial healing mean in the context of now? And why is racial healing important to our movements for justice?
Continue reading The National Day of Racial Healing in the Context of Now
by Lola E Peters
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
These lyrics from the classic tribute to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s by the Beatles pop into my head every time I see a photo of Stacey Abrams. My throat gets dry, tears well up, and I get goose bumps. How prescient those words are.
Continue reading Blackbird Fly: Hope During the Darkest Days of Our Democracy
by Carolyn Bick
Washingtonians aged 65 and older and, additionally, those aged 50 and older who live in “multigenerational households” are now eligible to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus under Phase 1B — Tier 1 effective immediately, Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a press conference on Jan. 18 (“multigenerational household,” per the schedule update, was not immediately defined). He also announced a slew of other vaccination schedule changes, including statewide mass vaccinations that will begin as soon as next week and the creation of a private-public partnership, in order to ramp up to administering 45,000 vaccines per day as quickly as possible.
Inslee said that allowing people aged 65 and older as well as those 50 and older — specifically those 50 and older who are living in what was referred to during the press conference as “multigenerational households” — to get the vaccine sooner than originally planned is meant to reflect a more equitable distribution of vaccines. That said, all persons wishing to learn their vaccination eligibility should go to the State’s online vaccine eligibility assessor, called Phase Finder, and fill out the questionnaire. (Note: As of this publication, the website seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties.)
Inslee also said that once roughly half of people eligible to get the vaccine under Phase 1B — Tier 1 have gotten vaccinated, the State’s vaccine providers will be allowed to offer vaccines to people deemed eligible in Phase 1B’s Tiers 2, 3, and 4, in order to increase efficiency.
Continue reading Inslee: Increased Vaccinations, Eligibility Umbrella, Plus Creation of Private-Public Vaccine Partnership
by Jack Russillo
During the 2019 legislative session, two state senators from South King County sponsored a bill that aimed to improve environmental justice for all of Washington’s residents, but only some of the policy actually became a reality.
This year’s new legislative session, which opened last week, has already seen numerous senators co-sponsor the same policy — including one of the bill’s original champions, the 37th Legislative District’s Rebecca Saldaña — and reintroduce the bill in an attempt to lay the groundwork for achieving a universal standard of environmental health quality across every community in Washington. The Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act, Saldaña says, would lay the critical groundwork to effectively implement any environmental legislation that is passed in the State Senate.
Continue reading HEAL Act, “The Cornerstone of Any Environmental Policy,” Makes Its Way Through Legislature
by Jasmine M. Pulido
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Freedom-Dreamer.
His dreams spoke to our hearts and minds. His dreams spoke to our imaginations.
“What we have to do is vision-dream … If we imagine what is possible, that imagining can change the way we exist in the present.” —Eddie Glaude Jr.
In commemoration of Dr. King’s 50th death anniversary, Eddie Glaude Jr, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, discussed Dr. King’s life with actor, comedian, and political commentator, D.L. Hughley on Hughley’s podcast in 2018. As two Black men, they talked not only about what Dr. King accomplished but also about how his ideas were much more radical than what gets taught to us in grade school. At one point, Glaude had the following to say.
Continue reading Freedom-Dreaming Is What Will Save Us
by Kamna Shastri
Please do not lose your Self to the world’s reckless turmoil.
The deluge of news and happenstances will rock your heart – break it too.
Continue reading POETRY: A Poem for Rejuvenation