Tag Archives: Patheresa Wells

The Radical Generosity of GivingTuesday

by Patheresa Wells

Have you ever been in line for coffee and when you pull up to the window to pay, you find that a stranger paid? It’s such a simple act of kindness, yet that is where the joy comes from, how easy it is to give. GivingTuesday, held on Nov. 30 this year, centers on this idea of “radical generosity” — defined by the GivingTuesday organization as “[t]he concept that the suffering of others should be as intolerable to us as our own suffering.” 

The idea for the day was created at the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City in 2012. Despite its humble beginnings, the day has grown into a collaborative global initiative involving millions of people who give each year. GivingTuesday is now its own nonprofit that rallies us to share in the spirit of giving routinely. According to The GivingTuesday, 2020 Impact Report, last year nearly 16 million Americans donated a total of $503 million. Worldwide, the donations went to over 75 countries. And the money isn’t all big gifts, donations from small donors increased by 10% in 2020

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Neighbors and Veterans Team Up for Mapes Creek Walkway Cleanup

by Patheresa Wells

Under the first clear skies the area had received in days, this past Saturday, Nov. 20, community members teamed up with volunteers from The Mission Continues, a veterans organization that promotes community service, to spruce up the Mapes Creek Walkway in Rainier Beach. 

The walkway is not only an essential pedestrian path for the neighborhood but environmentally, Mapes Creek plays a critical part as a Chinook salmon-rearing habitat with the creek flowing into Lake Washington. But the walkway has transformed over the years: Once used as a dumping ground, community members like those present Saturday are now working to address the need for a safe, accessible, and artistic pathway reflective of the neighborhood. 

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Highline Indigenous Voices Celebration Features Art, Education, Stories

by Patheresa Wells

Highline Public Schools Native Education Program will host an Indigenous Voices Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 27, 1–7 p.m., highlighting and honoring the work done by Indigenous earth/water protectors and First Nations food sovereignty leaders. The event will include viewings of two films, AWAKE: A Dream from Standing Rock and GATHER, as well as discussion about issues of importance to Indigenous communities — including the sacred work of water and land protectors — and sharings from Highline Native Education

Highline’s Native Education Program is a legacy program established in 1974 with the passing of the Indian Education Act. The program was started as a way to address the culturally related needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students. Since its inception, the program has had its own history of growth, but in 2013 it was relaunched with, as program manager Sara Ortiz says, a desire to be “visionary in our approach to native or Indian education … to include as many artists, as many culture keepers, scholars, elders, media makers, [and] language teachers [as possible].”

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OPINION: The Fear That Is Felt

by Patheresa Wells

There are times in my life when I try to protect myself from things I know will cause me pain. Sometimes I do this consciously, like when I see another Black or Brown body has been killed by the police. I may deliberately choose to not view the video, if there is one. Other times I protect myself unconsciously, as I have been with my lack of attention to the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. The trial is important, of course. But I am all too aware of how the justice system works to fully tune into an outcome I may or may not be prepared for. Because I know that justice in this country is rarely achieved, especially when matters of race are at play. 

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OPINION: Tomorrow Isn’t Promised — a Reflection on Veterans Day

by Patheresa Wells

When I talk about my experiences with the military, which doesn’t happen often anymore, I almost always end up talking about family. My direct experience with the military is as an army wife, a role I fell into when my husband needed some way to provide for us as a young married couple. One of the reasons I rarely discuss my time as an army wife is because once you are out of the military community, it’s hard to know who might understand or care about the life you lived while serving.  

To be honest, I didn’t really know what I was getting into; neither did he. In my family, it was common for someone to join up as a way to provide a steady income or receive opportunities not usually found in our community. My uncles had served, but we were long past the days of the Vietnam War that sent the strong Black boys my grandmother had raised back to us, some more broken than others.

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Kaila Davis Nsimbi On Being Rainier Scholars’ New Associate Executive Director

by Patheresa Wells

When Kaila Davis Nsimbi was choosing a career path, she knew she wanted to work in education, with the specific desire to serve young people like herself. Having attended Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bellevue as a motivated student of color, she wanted to empower other highly capable Black and Brown students “to go through those experiences with more boldness and more certainty” than she did. But to do that, Nsimbi said, students of color must be able to find others around them to lean on through the process, to be examples, and to help them navigate — as Nisimbi calls it — “the landscape of opportunity.”

During her 10 years at the nonprofit Rainier Scholars, Nsimbi has achieved — and continues to achieve — her education equity goals. Rainier Scholars fosters the academic potential and leadership skills of hardworking students of color by providing access to academic preparation, career and leadership development, and comprehensive support. Nsimbi’s commitment to helping students develop the skills they need to be community leaders has taken her on a long path with the organization. 

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Double Dutch Divas Jump Into Action at First Annual Community Coat Drive

by Patheresa Wells

The slap of jump ropes rhythmically hitting the ground and the sound of the “Cha Cha Slide” played in the background on Saturday, Oct. 30, as children laughed and ran around the racks of coats and winter clothes at the Southwest Boys & Girls Club in White Center. Families toting kids of all ages, as well as a diverse group of local neighborhood residents, came out to attend the First Annual Coat and Clothes Drive held by The Double Dutch Divas. The local organization brings the sport of double Dutch to the community to support healthy living and connection. 

The event was a collaborative effort between The Divas; the Boys & Girls Club; Girltrek, a nonprofit that promotes women’s health through daily walking; and the Sparks Neighborhood Matching Fund from the City of Seattle.

The Double Dutch Divas spent months collecting clothes, coats, and shoes to hand out at the event. With a cold, rainy fall — and increased economic insecurity due to the pandemic — upon us, it was important to this group to make sure people are outfitted warmly during the upcoming winter months. But The Divas didn’t stop there. In order to make their vision of “unity in the community” a reality, they made sure the drive included the fun, energy, and movement The Divas are known for. 

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