Converge Media, the largest producer of Black media in the Pacific Northwest, has seen several major milestones in the last month alone. Since its founding in 2017, Converge has operated out of its Black Media Matters Studio in downtown Seattle and has been working to uplift Black voices in ways that have been incredibly radical and influential throughout the media industry. Co-founder Omari Salisbury has notably gained recognition for his work covering Seattle’s response to the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, and through their show, The Morning Update. Now, Converge is both saying goodbye to some of its past work and looking forward to exciting new coverage on the horizon.
Help the Emerald create more “ripples and sparks” throughout the community! I’m the publisher’s mother and an Emerald founding board member. I’ve lived in Seattle all my life. Over most of those 77 years, the brilliance, diversity, and beauty of our community lacked a constant spotlight — that was until the Emerald came along. I’ve seen my son and the Emerald team sacrifice sleep, health care, self-care, and better salaries elsewhere to keep the Emerald shining a light on our community. I’d never ask anyone to make that kind of sacrifice, but I do ask to do what you can today to support the Emerald as a Rainmaker, or sustaining donor, during their 8th anniversary campaign, Ripples & Sparks at Home, April 20–28. Become a Rainmaker today by choosing the “recurring donor” option on the donation page!
—Cynthia “Mama” Green, The Publisher’s Mama & Rainmaker
Since time immemorial, Indigenous people have celebrated storytelling as a way to connect the present to past lessons and future dreaming. Narrative sovereignty is a form of land guardianship, and Nia Tero supports this work through its storytelling initiatives, including the Seedcast podcast, as well as in this monthly column for media partner the South Seattle Emerald.
My mother is Maria Cruz, my grandmother is Eloisa Saavedra, and my great-grandmother is Isidora Saavedra. They are matriarchs of the Otomi people, an Indigenous group in Michoacán/Guanajuato, Mexico. I was the first member of my family to be born in the U.S., and I was raised in Anaheim, California. I currently live on occupied Duwamish Territory (Seattle, Washington). I am a queer Indigneous printmaker, a doctoral student, and the dean for Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at South Seattle College. I am also currently a Nia Tero Pacific Northwest Art Fellow.
When I was 13, some teenage boys left me a racist, sexist voicemail saying they wanted to know what it was like to have sex with an Asian girl. “Are you submissive?” they asked in the recording. “Can we fuck you with a shoe? Will you love us long time? Ching chong, ching chong.” The muffled laughter of pubescent boys rang in the background.
Black trans women and nonbinary femmes are the most underserved population within the LGBTQIA+ community.
This is the reality that the Lavender Rights Project (LRP) knew but did not yet know how to effectively address after serving as a grassroots nonprofit law firm for the last five years. This September, on their five-year anniversary, after bringing Black trans women and femmes into new leadership to inform LRP’s strategy, they’re changing their mission to better hone in on this problem. While they still intend to be inclusive and serve the larger LGBTQIA+ community, they will center their work around Black trans women and nonbinary femmes moving forward.
“We are hoping to be inclusive of all LGBTQ in our services, but we see focusing in on Black trans women as a method to address all needs of the entire community. When we get it right for Black trans women, we get it right for everyone who reaches out to us for help,” Jaelynn Scott (she/her) said. As LRP’s executive director, Scott exuded a mix of fierce compassion that also somehow felt like a calming balm as she spoke about LRP’s future.
I like parenting more the older the kids get. Babies and toddlers are tough for me — it feels like a non-stop, low-grade panic aimed mostly at avoiding disaster. Once kids can communicate and — even better — share their hot takes on the world, I’m sold. So far, five is my favorite age. My son is all tightly wound curiosity and wild questions I’m sprinting (or furiously Googling) to answer. How many miles around the earth? (About 24,000.) Why don’t adults like candy? (Lol. We do.) Why are you on your phone so much? (Mind your business.)
Since the beginning of the year, Asian Americans have come increasingly under violent attack. Elders have been assaulted in Chinatowns across the country from Oakland to San Francisco to New York City. In late February, Inglemoor High School Japanese teacher Noriko Nasu and her boyfriend were walking through Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (C-ID) and were attacked without provocation. Nasu was knocked unconscious, and her boyfriend required eight stitches. Asian American community members in Seattle had already been experiencing racial slurs and aggression at increased rates since COVID-19 began in 2020. Then, last week, a 21-year-old white man murdered 8 people at massage parlors 30 miles apart in Atlanta. Six of the victims were Asian women. The businesses were Asian owned.
Almost three years ago, I began my first business as a social equity consultant. I had been an advocate and community organizer for years before, fighting for intersectional disability issues. Recently, someone asked me what the most common question I received was. I shared that it was often a rambling thought containing three main questions: (1) “Can you help me understand the difference between Diversity, Equity and Inclusion(DEI); (2) Will it help us/me better figure out how to ensure I’m being equitable and inclusive in my business/advocacy/life; (3) What does equity and inclusion really mean anyway?” Continue reading Equity is the Engine: The “Pimp my Ride” Parable→
This society is full of oppression, marginalization, and intersections. So many of these intersections are being addressed in the realm of social media and academic conversations. However there are more then few that go unseen except by those who experience them.
Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning author and media critic whose writing appears regularly in national and international media. She speaks frequently on topics related to inclusivity, free speech, sexualized violence, data and technology. She is the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and organizer of the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, an international civil society network dedicated to expanding women’s civic and political participation. She will speak on her new book, Rage Becomes Her, at Benaroya Hall’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. through Seattle Arts & Lectures. Soraya spoke with the South Seattle Emerald about her book, gender, body politics, street harassment, toxic masculinity, and feminism.