Tag Archives: Seattle Foundation

30 Years of MFPA: Advocating for Police Transformation

by Kamna Shastri


Reverend Harriet Walden has dedicated decades of her life to holding police accountable for their conduct, since long before slogans of “defund the police” echoed along city streets. In 1991, she founded Mothers Against Police Harassment, now known as Mothers For Police Accountability (MFPA). She is admired and respected for her work — and rightly so. A power-house with clear vision, Walden has been advocating for law enforcement to be held accountable for thirty years. Her legacy is powerful.

The incident that sparked Walden’s activism took place on a mid-summer evening on Aug. 5, 1990. One of Walden’s sons was riding home from a community festival with two friends. As the boys were rounding the corner at 29th Avenue South and South Jackson Street, Seattle police officers stopped them, saying they were looking for drugs. Walden’s other son was in the house nearby and came outside because of the noise. The four boys — all high school graduates on their way to college — began to argue with the police, explaining that they had no drugs in their possession, and the argument escalated.

In a 1995 interview on Network X, Walden recounts how the police held guns to the boys’ heads and that all four were beaten up and arrested. Walden was rightfully angry at how the police had treated her sons and their friends, especially as they were found wrongfully charged. Walden was able to get the charges dropped for the youth but sued the City of Seattle for misconduct.

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Our Future Matters: N2N Grant Helps Build Capacity for Youth Leadership

by Kamna Shastri


Pulemau Savusa was a high school student when she co-founded the “Our Future Matters” program as a part of YES! Foundation, a community nonprofit based in White Center. Years later, she is the program’s director, inspiring youth to advocate for their education and enrichment to gain opportunities much like she did. Savusa went on to pursue a degree in Education Studies at UW Bothell because of her work with youth.

Founded in 2000, YES! Foundation itself is dedicated to working with children and creating opportunities for youth in the White Center neighborhood. Their website states that “in doing so, we share resources and social capital with our community’s children and youth because we believe that having access to powerful life experiences and solid relationships is a good foundation for the development of strong, healthy, equipped leaders.”

YES! Foundation is rooted in the concept of collaborative partnerships. One central partnership has been with Cascade Middle School in the Highline Public School District, where they have been operating after-school programming for more than two years. Other community partnerships have involved the White Center Community Development Association, Cascade Bicycle Club, World Vision, and A.I.G.A Link, among others.

Continue reading Our Future Matters: N2N Grant Helps Build Capacity for Youth Leadership

For 27 Years, SCS Has Been a Catch-All for Seattle’s Somali Community

by Kamna Shastri


As an immigrant, it can be grating and alienating to go about your daily life without hearing the familiar lilt of your mother tongue. When you have moved to the United States to escape war or political instability and are trying to put down roots, it’s as important to retain a connection to your community as it is to make inroads into this new culture. This was the case for Sahra Farah, founder and director of Somali Community Services (SCS) of Seattle, based in Renton.

Continue reading For 27 Years, SCS Has Been a Catch-All for Seattle’s Somali Community

It Takes a Village: The Multicultural Care Network of ODMF

by Kamna Shastri


How do you navigate a support system for people with disabilities when you don’t know English? The compounding circumstances of having a disability, or caring for a loved one with a disability, while also struggling to master an American standard of English creates a unique need for multicultural families. As it is, the reams of paperwork, bureaucracy, and agencies that make up the maze of social services are already convoluted even if one knows English and has few barriers to access.

Open Doors for Multicultural Families (ODMF) has been dedicated to filling this service gap through a cultural brokerage model and systems-change approach. The organization was founded in 2009 by Ginger Kwan, whose vision was to see all “culturally and linguistically diverse individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities and their families thrive in an inclusive society of their own design.” Since its founding, ODMF has helped connect over a thousand individuals and families with tailored support and language access. Kwan now serves as the organization’s executive director.

Continue reading It Takes a Village: The Multicultural Care Network of ODMF

Dream Away: Washington Dream ACT Coalition Is Led by and for Undocumented Youth

by Kamna Shastri


Ray Corona knew hardly anything about politics and even less about the Washington State Legislature. Yet, as a high school student in 2009, he boldly stood at the head of a room full of legislators in Olympia and testified for a bill that would alter the lives of undocumented young adults forever. He was one of the first students to speaks candidly about his status as an undocumented person. Little did he know that the other students waiting in line to speak were not going to be doing that.

“In many ways that was the first time I sort of came out very publicly about my status, on the record for the [Washington] State Dream Act. That is sort of what prompted my activism with [the] immigrant community, specifically with the undocumented community,” said Corona.

Many of the other young students who had come to testify at this public hearing were part of other organizations and had been coached and mobilized to testify before the Legislature. Corona, however, had heard about the proposed bill from his school counselor who urged him to get involved.

From there, Corona began to organize and became friends with Monserrat Padilla (now at Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network). The two created what was at the time the Washington Dream Act Coalition (WADAC), a coalition that was led by and for young undocumented students.

“We wanted to make sure undocumented youth were at the center and were the ones coming up with these solutions because as the campaign evolved for the State Dream Act, there were many times that allies were willing to compromise just to get a bill passed,” said Corona.

Continue reading Dream Away: Washington Dream ACT Coalition Is Led by and for Undocumented Youth

Not Registered for the August 3 Election? Here’s How to Fix That and Get Your Ballot

by Phil Manzano


While you may find it difficult to pull away from the sunny reverie of summer, there’s an important election on the horizon for Seattle and King County. Here’s a primer on how to make sure you make your voice heard in the upcoming Aug. 3 primary election, when voters will weigh in on county, city, and special district elections.

The deadline to register online or by mail for the Aug. 3 primary election, July 26, has already passed. You can register to vote in person for the primary election up to and including Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 3.

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yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective is Here to Lift the Sky and Make a Space for Indigenous Art

by Kamna Shastri


There is a Coast Salish story about a number of neighboring villages, each speaking a different language but sharing the same land. While they did not understand one another, they had a shared challenge: When the Creator had made the world, he had left the sky a little too low. The village communities realized that though they spoke different languages, they had a shared word that could help them change the situation.

yəhaw̓ — a Lushootseed word meaning “to proceed” or “move forward.” Together they called out synchronously. Each time the word escaped their lips, a collective sound powerful and potent, the sky moved up just a little more.

This is the story behind yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective, a newly birthed nonprofit which became a larger movement after beginning as a one-time art show at King Street Station in 2019.

“We felt like that was a really beautiful story in terms of art and the power of art and culture to unite communities and become a source of shared empowerment,” said Asia Tail, one of the collective’s three founders.

Continue reading yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective is Here to Lift the Sky and Make a Space for Indigenous Art

News Gleams: Oral History Pilot, Community IPAs, Vaccines, Garden Share Events, & More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 


Image courtesy of Wa Na Wari.

Seattle Black Spatial Histories Institute Pilot Program — Now Accepting Applications!

Application Deadline: March 31

From the source: Wa Na Wari and the Shelf Life Community Story Project are launching the Seattle Black Spatial Histories Institute, a pilot oral history/community story training program.

In 2021, a six-person cohort will explore the ethics, techniques, best practices, tensions, and dilemmas of oral history. The cohort will then practice their new skills by conducting oral history interviews with local community members around three topics. Upon completion of the Institute, cohort members will receive compensation of $4,000 and a certificate of completion.

Continue reading News Gleams: Oral History Pilot, Community IPAs, Vaccines, Garden Share Events, & More!

Want to Run for Office? King County Elections Hosts Online Workshops to Help

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


There’s never been a better time to run for office in King County. This year there are 334 local offices open to election, and if you or someone you know has ever entertained the idea of running for office, now is a great time to take the leap. King County Elections (KCE) is helping to demystify the process with upcoming Candidate Workshops.

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NEWS GLEAMS: Free Tax Prep Online, a Volunteering Opportunity, Political Candidate Training Program, & Journalism Scholarship

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 


Free Tax Preparation Online From United Way of King County

Feb. 12–Apr. 18, 2021

United Way of King County will offer virtual Free Tax Preparation services (available in 20 languages) to low- and moderate-income working families with the assistance of IRS-certified volunteers starting on Friday, Feb. 12. The trained volunteers will help filers claim all the credits for which they are eligible, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is widely considered a powerful tool to help people get out of poverty. Due to the coronavirus pandemic social distancing guidelines, in-person tax preparation assistance will not be available this year.

To get started, visit United Way of King County’s “Get Free Tax Help” webpage.

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Free Tax Prep Online, a Volunteering Opportunity, Political Candidate Training Program, & Journalism Scholarship