by Beverly Aarons
A faceless young woman in a white “number 3” jersey rests her unseen hand against her hip — behind her a running track fades into the distance. A large brimmed hat sits stylishly slanted on a church lady’s head, and a young girl lugs a book bag into a mysterious hallway — she’s flanked by a man wearing a white armband. These “Iconic Black Women’’ paintings by visual artist Hiawatha D., are just a few of many that greet visitors at the Wonder of Women Gallery (WOW) in Pacific Place shopping mall (600 Pine Street, 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA).
Continue reading WOW Gallery Owners’ Black Love Journey Creates Space for Healing
by Adana Protonentis and Jasmine M. Pulido
In the weeks since Dr. Ben Danielson’s resignation from the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) was made public, there has been an outpouring of shock, grief, anger, and loss from the community he served. Running consistently through these messages have been calls for accountability. But what does that mean?
“True accountability is not only apologizing, understanding the impact your actions have caused on yourself and others, making amends or reparations to the harmed parties; but most importantly, true accountability is changing your behavior so that the harm, violence, abuse does not happen again.” — Mia Mingus
In the United States, accountability is often transactional. Our criminal legal system is an example: Someone commits a criminalized act, they are assigned a punishment (jail or prison time, restitution, community service), they complete the punishment, and the case is closed. There are collateral consequences that continue to punish the “offender” for years afterward, and those who were harmed rarely find closure. The wound cannot heal. In this version of accountability, the community is not centered. There is a transaction between a system and an individual. The individual is punished, but no one is made whole.
Continue reading Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Version of Accountability Fails to Prioritize Healing of Odessa Brown Families
by Carolyn Bick
In this special photography series, Emerald writer and photographer Carolyn Bick shares some of the challenges of being a breaking news reporter and investigative journalist and how they find release, healing, and resilience in nature.
I am bad at being vulnerable.
I am equally bad at asking for help, asking to take a break, saying no — you know, those classic perfectionist traits. These traits are really good at getting a person through the sprint … but what about the marathon?
This year, Reader, I nearly burned out. I think it took longer than anyone who was concerned about me expected, but it was quite a shock for me to find myself crying on the floor of my closet and unable to figure out why. I’d been doing the requisite therapy sessions (that’s what you’re supposed to do in a pandemic, right?), signed up for a Calm membership, kept up with my regular morning exercise, and (grudgingly) agreed to take time off when my publisher and managing editor said I needed to.
Continue reading UNBOUND: Nature Heals
by Mark Van Streefkerk
“You see that I am always getting in trouble
Trouble follows me
like a shadow right behind me, always
You see that I am always in fights
Always rebel fights, arguments
But you don’t know me. I’m not that type of person
I’m really caring, giving
Always trying to help people”
Those are the opening lines to “Josiah,” a poem by 16-year-old Damian, a youth incarcerated at Seattle’s Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC), formerly King County Juvenile Detention. “Josiah” appears in The Shadow Beside Me, a new anthology of poems from youth at CFJC, published by the Pongo Poetry Project. In the poem, Damian writes about how life changed when his friend Josiah was shot and killed. “Josiah was the only person we knew who had graduated / had a job, and had something going for him / When he left, it broke me.”
Continue reading ‘The Shadow Beside Me’: Seattle Nonprofit Debuts Poetry From King County Juvenile Detention
by Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud
On one street mural, a radiant yellow circle frames a feminine figure who holds her right palm outwards and left arm downwards. Adorned in a cedar hat, turquoise necklace, and multi-colored ribbon belt, the figure stands in front of outstretched butterfly wings rippling with red, orange, yellow, and purple colors. Most distinctive is the figure’s face, smeared with a jarring red handprint. Beyond this, the words “PROTECT INDIGENOUS WOMXN” anchor the mural’s mostly purple background.
Continue reading Black and Center: Archiving Indigenous and Black Futures
By Carolyn Bick
In the second week, Jane Pauw found herself wrapped in darkness, her brain empty in a way she had never before experienced. Minutes, hours –– days, even –– slipped by as afterthoughts, while her body, wracked with fever, worked to preserve her life. But, really, she wasn’t worried –– and she couldn’t have concentrated on being worried, even if she wanted to. She was just too sick with COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
The illness meant that even little movements were taxing. At one point during the worst week, the week of relentless fever, she remembers crawling to get herself water. Sometimes, she went downstairs, pausing to rest and sit down every few steps. She blacked out a few times.
Once, she had walked across England.
Continue reading Through the darkness: A Rainier Beach pastor’s experience with coronavirus infection
by Aaron Burkhalter
At age 9, Pamela Green waited in a grocery store parking lot, watching a house across the street. A few men carried another man — covered in blood — out of the building. A woman followed behind with a machete in her hand.
Continue reading Pamela Green Wants to ‘Denormalize’ Violence; Panel Discussion Friday