Tag Archives: KCEN

Dear Nikkita, Thank You for Helping Us Envision a Liberated Future

by Jenna Hanchard


Listen to the full audio recording of this interview.

From Fannie Lou Hamer to Stacey Abrams, Black womxn organizers have historically had one of the biggest impacts on transforming our communities and improving the social outcomes of our neighborhoods. In the last year in Seattle, there is no doubt Nikkita Oliver (they/them) has served as one of the community’s north stars as we look for solutions for eradicating police and State violence and building a community that we want to live in. In this pivotal moment in U.S. history, where more people have joined the fight for Black and Brown Liberation, Lola’s Ink journalist Jenna Hanchard was in conversation with Nikkita Oliver to talk about their leadership and imagining a future where someday they could just fade into the background.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity

Jenna Hanchard: What does Black Liberation look like, smell like, taste like, feel like?

Continue reading Dear Nikkita, Thank You for Helping Us Envision a Liberated Future

Cooks for BLM Serves Up New Recipe for Effective Fundraising

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Following the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the ensuing protests that rose up in Seattle, Jude Watson, a local chef who has worked at Stateside and FareStart, searched their metaphorical pantry to see how they could help organizations fighting for Black lives and equity.

Watson had been laid off and reached out to other chefs who they knew were out of work to see if, together, they could translate their skills into money for King County Equity Now (KCEN), a coalition of 60 Black-led community-based organizations working toward racial equity. 

“It’s called the service industry for a reason, you know, we’re all used to being useful, and we’re used to being incredibly active, and I don’t think any of us are very good at sitting still,” Watson told the Emerald. “So I think this project felt like, in a lot of ways, a really natural outpouring of what we do in restaurants, even though you don’t necessarily, in restaurants, always get a chance to do work specifically for social justice.”

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Sustainable Seattle to Host Virtual Leadership Awards Event to Celebrate and Connect Local Sustainability Experts

by Jack Russillo


They’re calling it “Campfire Stories,” and the event will shed light on some of Seattle’s most innovative and ambitious leaders working toward a sustainable and equitable future.

On Tuesday December 8 at 6 p.m. Sustainable Seattle (S2) will host its eleventh Sustainability Leadership Awards, where it will recognize and celebrate the efforts of local experts, organizers, and organizations that have produced exceptional sustainability work in the past year. This year, the free event will take place online. Virtual doors will open at 5:45 p.m. and the event will commence shortly after.

Since 1991, S2 has worked to guide initiatives, create events, assemble a diverse range of community members, and spread awareness from around the Seattle area to activate a world that is safe, accessible, and enduring for all.

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More Details Emerge About Black Brilliance Project’s Research Plan

by Paul Kiefer

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


PubliCola has obtained a copy of the King County Equity Now (KCEN) work plan for their public safety research project that’s intended to lay the groundwork for a participatory budgeting process next year. About $30 million of the $1.5 billion general fund budget is supposed to be allocated using participatory budgeting — a process that enables the public to vote on which projects and priorities they want to fund — next year.

The Seattle City Council finalized a $3 million contract with Freedom Project Washington, a nonprofit that offers programs inside and outside prisons to help with reentry and prevent re-incarceration, to fiscally sponsor and oversee KCEN’s research last week. With the contract finalized and the work plan submitted, Freedom Project Washington now has access to the first $1,250,000 of that total. Freedom Project Washington is allowed to subcontract with other groups to conduct parallel research. Currently, though, KCEN is the group’s only subcontractor.

Continue reading More Details Emerge About Black Brilliance Project’s Research Plan

After Council Vote, Solidarity Budget Celebrates Victories but Battle Against SPD’s “Hugely Bloated Budget” Continues

by Jack Russillo


After Seattle City Council voted yesterday on the 2021 City budget, partners in the Solidarity Budget coalition hosted a live Facebook-streamed teach-in event to share perspectives and analyses of the close-to-official City budget. Mayor Jenny Durkan has said she will sign the budget into law next week.

Solidarity Budget is a platform endorsed by more than 200 community organizations who have been calling for a 2021 City budget that is anti-racist, pro-Black, and that works toward a healthy future for all. Among representatives from King County Equity Now (KCEN), Decriminalize Seattle, Transit Riders Union, Got Green, Puget Sound Sage, and other Solidarity-Budget-supporting organizations, political activist Nikkita Oliver helped facilitate the 77 minutes of virtual conversations

Continue reading After Council Vote, Solidarity Budget Celebrates Victories but Battle Against SPD’s “Hugely Bloated Budget” Continues

Black Brilliance Project Outlines Ambitious Public Safety Agenda That Includes $1B Land Acquisition Fund

by Paul Kiefer

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


As the Seattle City Council wrapped up their 2021 budget deliberations, representatives from King County Equity Now’s (KCEN) Black Brilliance research project held a press conference on Monday afternoon to announce an ambitious slate of potential City investments and social programming aimed at replacing police and improving community safety in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

The Black Brilliance Project, which KCEN announced in September, encompasses the preliminary research for next year’s proposed public safety-oriented participatory budgeting process. The project will be funded through a $3 million grant to The Freedom Project, which will subcontract with KCEN; the City has not yet finalized and published the contract.

Continue reading Black Brilliance Project Outlines Ambitious Public Safety Agenda That Includes $1B Land Acquisition Fund