For the last 20 years, Rainier Scholars has partnered with various organizations, school districts, individual schools, and businesses to academically support underrepresented students in the greater Seattle area. Earlier this month, Rainier Scholars announced that they would be partnering with Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) to further the district’s mission of supporting more students, especially those from multigenerational African American families. Their first Tacoma cohort will be recruited in the beginning of fall of 2021, with programming launching in the summer of 2022.
I first discovered Hillman City Collaboratory in 2016 while working with housing activists to save a Central District family from displacement — the collaboratory was a space where we could strategize and discuss. The second time I engaged with the space was when I attended a clothing swap in the main mixing room. High-quality clothes were neatly folded into stacks — anyone could grab some pretty decent threads and it didn’t matter if they had money or something to trade. And then there were the films and the talks and the discussions and the various events — social, political, cultural, artistic, and business-related — that I attended at the collaboratory throughout the years.
But as I approached the Hillman City Collaboratory headquarters on April 30, I could see, even from across Rainier Avenue, that the social change incubator that once teemed with life was completely deserted. This was the final day of the community hub — they had to vacate the premises. An older man, who looked to be in his 60s, stood about 30 feet from the entrance. He smoked a cigarette and peered down the empty sidewalk. As I tugged on the collaboratory door, the man took a final draw on his cigarette and approached me. I wanted to know more about the closing of the collaboratory, I explained. He nodded in understanding as if he had been expecting me and we went inside.
Ingersoll Gender Center is one of the oldest organizations by and for transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming communities in the U.S. Founded in 1977, Ingersoll provides support groups, resources, help with navigating healthcare, employment, and other services, all under the vision of self-determination and collective liberation for transgender people. However, current and former staff members claim the nonprofit has fallen far short of this vision, alleging Ingersoll Directors have demonstrated “intentional, calculated abuse, and anti-Blackness.”
On March 15, about 12 Black, POC, trans, and disabled current and former staff — known as Ingersoll Collective Action — released an Action Network petition, calling out the nonprofit for abusive workplace dynamics, exploiting the labor and social capital of Black staff, and other instances of harm.
South Seattle cycling hub Bike Works will host an online trivia game Thursday evening, meant to raise funds and awareness as the Columbia City nonprofit kicks off its 25th anniversary year with fresh leadership and a renewed focus on racial justice.
Neighbors might know Bike Works for its bright yellow community bike shop on South Ferdinand Street or its roving BikeMobile, which offers free repairs to riders in “bike deserts,” where shops are scarce. Thursday’s trivia event is the latest virtual meetup in a monthly series the group has launched during the pandemic.
Don’t know a crankset from a dereailleur? Don’t worry.
It’s taken years of work, but the Rainier Beach Food Innovation District is finally on the horizon.
After the Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) received funding over the summer from the City of Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI), RBAC has ramped up work on its planned Food Innovation District, a network of food-related businesses and activities aimed at creating living-wage jobs and preventing displacement. Once complete, the food-centric district could be a natural hub for retail and restaurant development; farmers markets, festivals and other attractions; and public health outreach and services, such as cooking and nutrition classes or harvest gleaning programs that move farm surpluses to families in need. With assistance from Forterra, RBAC acquired ownership of a property at the end of October with a central location in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. The $3 million purchase is the result of a decade-long effort and will help RBAC implement a primary aspect of their neighborhood plan.
Trivia fans, this is your night to shine! Join the nonprofit City Fruit online Sunday, October 25 at 5 p.m. for a virtual gala with a hard cider tasting, a Halloween costume contest, and trivia hosted by Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings, plus Senator Rebecca Saldaña and family in attendance. Trivia teams of up to five people can play for a chance to win a grand prize $500 gift certificate to James Beard-award winning restaurant Canlis, as well as other prizes. You can buy tickets and sign up for the cider tasting, trivia, or both here.
(This article was originally published by Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The line to enter the Columbia City Farmers Market stretched down 35th Avenue South, curving down South Ferdinand Street, shoppers standing the designated six feet apart in the shade of the trees of the shuttered Interagency Academy. Vendors stacked fresh vegetables and prepared food on tables that lined each side of South Edmunds Street, tokens of normalcy in abnormal times.
Just a block away, Monika Mathews had a small table of her own set up in front of QueenCare, the natural skincare company that she launched in December 2018. Colorful face masks and dangling earrings next to Black Lives Matter shirts and a handful of her handmade products lay out to tempt customers, as a person filled bottles with handmade products inside the small storefront.
For 14 years, Homer O’Neil has had a front row seat as Columbia City has evolved side-by-side with a local nonprofit stalwart.
Bike Works, the community-based bicycle enthusiast group founded in 1996, has offered programs for youth and repair services for decades out of their quaint yellow community bike shop posted on S. Ferdinand Street in Columbia City.