by Susan Fried & Emerald Staff
Around 100 people turned out for a rally, march, and vigil for Kaloni Bolton on Saturday at Westlake Park. The 12-year-old died after suffering an asthma attack at Valley Medical Center (VMC) Urgent Care in December and being forced to wait an extended period of time after being turned away from the first clinic before receiving treatment. Bolton went into cardiac arrest and passed away after two days on life support. Bolton’s family alleges her death was due to anti-Blackness, medical racism, and negligence.
Since Bolton’s passing, there have been consistent community demands for justice. Black Nurses Matter held a Renton march in Bolton‘s honor this spring. This past Saturday, July 24, the Westlake Black Health Equity Rally was hosted by The Breathe for Kaloni Foundation and Decolonizing Science, a podcast run by Ashley Paynter, a Black scientist currently obtaining their Ph.D. in the field of biological sciences. It was attended by many members of Bolton’s large extended family with one message: #BreatheForKaloni. Speakers included her cousin Zipporah White, her mother Kristina Williams’ attorney James Bible, and Claude Burfect, a vice president of the Seattle- King County Branch of the NAACP. After a rally, protestors marched through downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill. The march was followed by a vigil for Bolton back at Westlake Park.
To learn more, listen to Bolton’s family tell her story on podcast Episode #6 of Decolonizing Science and follow @breatheforkaloni on Instagram.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Family and Community Remember 12-Year-Old Kaloni Bolton, Demand Justice
by Chamidae Ford
On the clear and warm Juneteenth afternoon, dozens of people gathered at Tukwila Village to march for Black fathers. The Black Fathers Matter March is an event dedicated to honoring Black fathers with a goal to emphasize the fact that despite the stereotypes forced on Black men around fatherhood, many are present and supportive of their children.
Continue reading Black Fathers Matter March: Honoring and Uplifting Black Fathers in Our Community
by Elizabeth Turnbull
Over a week after Dolal Idd was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis, roughly 150 people gathered in front of the Tukwila Library on Sunday, Jan. 10, to honor the Somali American man’s life and to call for systemic change.
Many speakers mourned the loss of another Black life and spoke to the need for nationwide action on policing. Shukri Olow, a candidate for King County Council District 5, which encompasses some of South Seattle, spoke as a member of the Somali-Muslim community and as a mother herself.
“When I heard about what happened to Dolal, I couldn’t help but feel the pain of his mother, who ran away from the civil war to find a safe environment for her children,” Olow said. “I want you to think about fleeing a conflict … coming to safe shores only to have your child killed by a system that you do not understand, a system that does not see our humanity.”
Continue reading Vigil for Dolal Idd in Tukwila Shows Solidarity for Somali-Muslim Community and Demands Change
by Carolyn Bick
When Elijah L. Lewis was born in Skyway Park two decades ago, he carried his mother’s grief over his father’s death inside himself.
“My father had been walking my little sister down the stairs when he had collapsed. At the time, we did not have a phone, because of the inequities we were suffering because of the poverty mindset … and the reality that we have to face,” Lewis said, describing how difficult it was for his family to summon medical aid. “My six-year-old [sibling], my nine-year-old sister, and my 10-year-old brother and mother, witnessed my father, who was a Black man, turn purple and die in front of their face. … We did not have any financial stability left when he passed, so we had to struggle.”
Continue reading Skyway Residents Gather to Highlight Black-Led, Community-Driven Solutions