The Emerald invited top candidates running for Seattle City Council’s District 9 position to tell readers why they deserve South Seattle’s vote. Voters have until Aug. 3 to cast their vote in the primary election.
by Nikkita Oliver
The Souf End is my home and I do mean “Souf.”
My first community organizing experiences were at Graham Elementary School where I served as the program assistant, and later program director, of the Mekong Learning Center. As a Black student and educator, I have experienced anti-Blackness and school pushout in our education system. Black, Native, and brown youth targeted by the school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline taught me how important it is to trust their brilliance in improving their educational experiences in the classroom and after-school. Working alongside our South End students and families, I learned how to center the needs of those most impacted by systemic oppression in our solution-building and policy-making.
EYOC began to take shape during Kirsten Harris-Talley’s campaign last summer. The founder, Andrew Hong, was working as a field organizer and went on to start the campaign’s youth team.
“After Kirsten won the election, we thought we had a good structure and continued interest so we rebranded to Emerald Youth Organizing Collective a few months later,” Hong said. “We continued doing work mostly in the state Legislature but we also did some community work too, and now we’re rapidly expanding the projects we do.”
An enthusiastic crowd of teachers, parents, current Seattle Public Schools board members, and candidates for the school board gathered at Medgar Evers Pool at Garfield High School on Saturday, June 12, to show solidarity protesting the passage of bills in several states banning the teaching of critical race theory.
The debate over restricting teachers from including the history of white supremacy or incorporating ethnic studies in the curriculum is nothing new. Those who support banning it see critical race theory as racist, unconstitutional, and designed to make white people feel guilty. In fact, critical race theory examines how racism is intersected and maintained in public institutions. As many speakers at the rally made clear, the goal of critical race theory isn’t to pit individuals against one another, despite what so many politicians and media have twisted it to become.
Africatown-Central District hosted the Malcolm X Hip Hop Soul Rally at Jimi Hendrix Park on the afternoon of Saturday, May 22, to honor the life and legacy of the late Black activist. The event was open to the public and featured live performances from local Black artists as well as vendor opportunities for Black business owners all gathered in community. Throughout the event, emcees emphasized the importance of investing in local Black businesses and celebrating local youth and their passions.
Organizations involved with putting the event together included King County Equity Now, Africatown community organizers, Black Dot, The African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Black Action Coalition, and many others.
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.
We also post the Morning Update Show here on theEmerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Monday, March 15
LIVE — Nikkita Oliver | Breonna Taylor One Year Later | Civil settlement of $27M in George Floyd Case | Black Candidates eyeing ballot in Tacoma | Community Voices: The Vanishing Seattle Edition
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?
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and whereweconverge.com.
We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on theEmerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Monday, Feb. 1
Black History Month Programming | LIVE — Nikkita Oliver | LIVE — Tony B | LIVE — Eddie Rye | Olympia Legislation Update
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.
Fall is here. And with it comes rain, gloom, and days that turn to night in the blink of an eye, as well as a never-ending news cycle that circulates between Trump administration shenanigans (so glad he’s almost gone!) to constant reminders that not only is COVID still a problem, but numbers across the country — including King County —are higher than ever. You know what would be amazing right now? A free music festival!
And lucky for us, Bad Habit Media has announced Shelter Fest, a new online music festival created in response to the shelter-in-place mandate and how it has disproportionately impacted the arts and service industries, as well as communities of color. All day this weekend, Saturday November 14 and Sunday November 15, Shelter Fest will provide direct support to local artists, businesses, and restaurants by fostering a creatively designed music festival that is both socially distant and surprisingly intimate.
In these unprecedented times, change that once seemed improbable now appears inevitable to many in Seattle’s activist community who have spent years fighting for systemic and structural transformation. As protests and an expanding awareness of racial injustices endure across the nation, several of them find themselves hopeful of finally leaving behind a status quo that dehumanized and marginalized communities of color, LGBTQIA+ folx, and people with disabilities, to name but a few.