by M. Anthony Davis
The annual Rainier Beach “Back 2 School Bash” is back this Saturday, Aug. 28, in the Rainier Beach Plaza. This annual event, which started in 2003, has become a staple in the community. This year, even with a few COVID-19 restrictions, the Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), led by RBAC organizer Danielle Jackson, will present an event full of entertainment, school resources, and the backpack giveaway that has supported students for the last 17 years.
“Because of COVID, we decided we were going to do a drive-through this year,” Jackson tells me. “But because of the bus stops and the layout of the street, we weren’t able to because that would cause traffic to be backed up. So instead, we decided to do a walk-through.”
Continue reading ‘Back 2 School Bash’ Pivots to Walk-Through to Provide School Supplies
by Susan Fried
About a half dozen barbers volunteered their services last weekend so people could get free haircuts at Rainier Beach Community Center plaza. In addition to the cuts, there was food, entertainment, and free COVID-19 vaccines. The event was held in partnership with the Department of Neighborhoods and hosted by Fathers and Sons Together (FAST) — a youth development organization that aims to nurture the relationships between fathers and sons. It also featured three panel discussions around significant issues affecting the community, including one on health and wellness — in particular how they relate to COVID-19 — one on the recent surge in gun violence, and a third to discuss ways to help youth and create positive change in the community.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Fathers and Sons Together Barbershop Event Encourages Hope
by Chamidae Ford
Last Saturday afternoon, many braved the heatwave to gather at Be’er Sheva park to celebrate the unveiling of the park’s first mural.
The event was a collaboration between Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), Art of Resistance and Resilience (ARR), Link2Lake, and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.
Those involved spent five days working in the sun, and the previous two months planning the mural, in preparation for this celebration.
Continue reading Rainier Beach Action Coalition Unveils Mural in Be’er Sheva Park
by Elizabeth Turnbull
As incidents of gun violence in King County are set to hit a new record so far this year, a group of community members and government leaders gathered on June 4, 2021 — a date that King County declared as Regional Community Safety and Well-being Day — to announce a new collective that will work to prevent more shootings.
Continue reading Collective Against Gun Violence Launched Amid Record Year of Incidents
by Makayla Miles
(This article is co-published in agreement with Rainier Beach Action Coalition’s SE Seattle Freedomnet.)
This is the second in a series of articles drawing from the experiences of the many young adults employed by the Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) to improve their community. These articles tackle practical issues young adults in our community should have learned about in school, but often leave school without knowing.
Every Saturday, at least a half-hour before the Rainier Beach Action Coalition Farm Stand officially opens, the line of people waiting to get their hands on fresh, organically grown produce stretches from in front of the Community Center all the way toward the entrance of South Shore K–8.
Food insecurity is defined as “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.”
It’s widely known that Rainier Beach only has one grocery store — but while Safeway is a reliable option for some people, it can be too expensive for people living in low-income households. As a result, people sometimes have to travel outside of the area to find affordable food.
Continue reading Adulting 101: Overcoming Food Insecurity in Rainier Beach
by Gregory Davis
It was one year ago this month that a journalist thrust into the ether an idea that the pandemic was going to have a disproportionate impact on People of Color. He shared stories about friends and their current and impending struggles. One poignant detail he shared: “The coronavirus has magnified stubbornly unbalanced accounts between those with plenty and those barely holding on.”
Continue reading OPINION: Stopping Disaster Gentrification Post-Pandemic Will Require Robust Action
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Last Friday night, 16 year-old Earl Estrella was shot several times and killed when he answered a knock at the door of his family’s home. The killing was without apparent reason or motive, leaving Estrella’s family and community grieving the tragic loss of a beloved son, another life cut short in Rainier Beach due to gun violence. The case is still under investigation.
The Rainier Beach neighborhood has weathered at least eight shootings since last May — including six deaths — according to chair of the South Precinct Advisory Council Erin Goodman. As people look to community-based safety organizations for solutions that prevent youth gun violence — ideally without increased policing — the leaders of these groups all echo a similar sentiment: we’ve been out here doing the work before, during, and after these crises, and we will continue.
Continue reading Community Responses to Youth Gun Violence in the Wake Of Rainier Beach Shootings
by Mark Van Streefkerk
In January, the Rainier Beach Safeway parking lot saw several shootings — including one incident in which two people sustained non-life threatening injuries. In response, the community organized a series of Town Hall meetings, parking lot improvements, and an organically-driven “Action Team” that included Safeway employees, Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), Southeast Network Safe Passage at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club, and Urban Family. Since then, business owners say the area is safer, with no reported incidents of violence to date.
Continue reading Community Safety Requires All Of Us: Rainier Beach Safeway Update
by Emerald Staff
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Friday that the City will provide $2.1 million to buy land for the future home of the Food Innovation Center in Rainier Beach, a project of the not-for-profit community organization Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC). Funding was made available through Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI). Continue reading News Gleam: Rainier Beach Action Coalition Receives $2.1 Million to Purchase Land for Food Innovation Center
by Carolyn Bick
In a normal week, kids who rely on schools for their meals know they’ll receive breakfast and lunch on any given school day. On the weekends, those who need to may take home backpacks of food or ingredients for themselves and their families. Continue reading South End Organizations Step up to Feed Students in Need During COVID-19 Closures