Tag Archives: Lola E. Peters

OPINION | Is This America?

by Lola E. Peters

The most effective speaker and advocate of the Civil Rights Movement was not Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or Jesse Jackson, or any of the myriad names quoted without end during Black History Month. That honor belongs to a woman whose power was drawn not from her title, status, economic, or educational achievements, but from the roots of her experience.

Continue reading OPINION | Is This America?

OPINION | Diagnosis: Christo-Fascism

by Lola E. Peters

In 1995, I had served as associate director for social justice of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) for five years. That role put me in working relationships with religious professionals from across many faith traditions. As a member of the National Council of Churches Racial Justice Working Group, I regularly interacted with clergy and laity from across the Protestant spectrum alongside faith-based activists. As co-chair of the Council of National Religious AIDS Networks, I worked with Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, and Jews to advocate for safe and sane HIV and AIDS public policy as well as ethical responses in religious communities. 

Continue reading OPINION | Diagnosis: Christo-Fascism

OPINION: Managing Guns in the 21st Century

by Lola E. Peters

Our society has a tendency to create solutions for symptoms rather than stepping back and asking how those symptoms came to be. We do this with everything from health care to education to homelessness to the management of legal weapons. This puts us in a never-ending hydra loop where we deal with one aspect of an issue at a time rather than the whole. We need to stop. 

Continue reading OPINION: Managing Guns in the 21st Century

Local Celebrity Chef Fueling Our Children’s Engines With Great Food

by Lola E. Peters

Emme Ribeiro Collins and her family moved to Seattle from Brazil when she was only 6 years old, a first grader. Lunch is the main event of the day in Brazil, and school day lunches were prepared by her grandmother or mother. She remembers them as delicious, filling, and made from scratch. She remembers the care and tenderness put into those meals. 

It was with this memory she first entered the lunchroom at her new Seattle elementary school. Jarred into cultural dissonance by food she didn’t recognize and found unpalatable, served impersonally without any connection to her culture or health needs, she often chose to go without lunch. “Foods I found okay were things like spaghetti, which was homey and comforting … I often chose to go hungry at school and just ate at home.”

Now, in what she calls, “a full-circle moment that is super important to me,” the executive chef of Seattle Public Schools (SPS), and recent winner of the Sept. 10 episode of the cooking show Chopped, Collins is still amazed how poorly our culture feeds our children during their most physically and mentally vulnerable years. She and her boss Aaron Smith, director of Nutrition Services, are teaming together to reimagine how to serve this youthful clientele.

Continue reading Local Celebrity Chef Fueling Our Children’s Engines With Great Food

OPINION: Political Intermission

by Lola E. Peters

Act One was the campaign. We met the players, learned their public backstories, got hints about their character, and were introduced to the context of their stories. Act Two was the primary: a much shorter period where we learned about ourselves. Through social media, on Zoom calls, and over outdoor happy hour snacks we asked, “Who are you voting for?” or “Can you believe so-and-so is voting for so-and-so?” The end of Act Two revealed who were the players representing minor, though no less important, voices but no longer primary participants in the current play. We also learned whose dramatic arcs would move forward to the next act. 

Here I sit, in the lobby, looking around at my fellow voters, wondering what they were thinking. 

Continue reading OPINION: Political Intermission

Neighborhood Artist Spotlight: Valerie Curtis-Newton

by Lola E. Peters

 When Valerie Curtis-Newton and her partner, now wife, Kim Powell moved to South Seattle’s Hillman City neighborhood in 1998, the New York Times refused to deliver their Sunday edition to homes on the Beacon Hill side of Rainier Avenue South. Much has changed in the neighborhood since. Curtis-Newton says she can even get food delivered to their home now.

Much has also changed in Curtis-Newton’s relationship to Seattle’s theater world. She is now Professor, Head of Performance, Directing, Acting at the University of Washington’s School of Drama. In 2006, she and Vivian Phillips founded the Hansberry Project to bring theater written by and about African Americans to Seattle. Continue reading Neighborhood Artist Spotlight: Valerie Curtis-Newton

Review: Echo Park

by Lola E. Peters

Monday night’s screening of Echo Park at Ark Lodge Cinema in Columbia City was groundbreaking in many ways. It was part of the film’s nationwide release, shown not at a multiplex but at a small, neighborhood theater; it is part of a new partnership between the ARRAY Release network, (formerly AFFRM), and Ark Lodge Cinema, making Ark Lodge the exclusive local partner for Array’s new releases. It was also the birth of Sankofa Film Society, a new, local organization. Sankofa’s introductory email says: Continue reading Review: Echo Park