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Community Update 7.8.2020: Organizations and Movements to Support

There are now many more decentralized organizations and collectives speaking, fighting against oppression and working towards liberation.

To name just a few:

· Seattle Black Collective Voice: “We were born from the defund SPD movement in Seattle. We came together as protestors, activists, educators, and volunteers in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest. Our shared experiences of police brutality and systemic racism build the bond of an empowered, defiant community. We gather together; prepared to educate, mobilize, and fight for racial and economic equity within Seattle.”

· Co-liberation Media: “Co-liberation Media is a decentralized platform facilitating conversations and curating content on the forefront of social justice and systems change.”

· Decolonize Conversation Café: “We are a community on a mission to dismantle racism and decolonize ourselves and Seattle-one conversation, one relationship at a time.”

· Engage: “We are a group of community activists organizing marches and events in Seattle. One Team, One Voice, One Message!”

· Black Star Farmers: “Our mission as Black Star Farmers is to create safe, joyful, and supportive spaces for BIPOC communities to reclaim their ancestral foodways, while facilitating difficult conversations about race and inequality.” Donate to their cause as a third of the funds will be donated directly to local food justices organizations such as Nurturing Roots, YES Farms, and the Common Acre.

Seattle, especially in South Seattle is home to many immigrant and refugee communities, not only do they navigate systemic oppression in this nation, they often have cultural needs that can create unique challenges in serving these populations in culturally appropriate ways. In order to try to understand how hunger is impacting these communities, we must also consider their cultural needs in order to better serve these populations. That is why community engagement is so important when serving these communities, because they know their needs best.

Understanding gentrification and the history behind discriminatory practices such as redlining is important to acknowledge in order to understand the people’s demands. King County Equity Now (KCEN) is a “coalition of accountable, Black-led, community organizations fighting to achieve equity now.” Organizations and businesses include but are not limited to: Africatown Community Land Trust, Black Dot, The Postman, East African Community Services, Nurturing Roots and more.

With community support, Fire House 6 was transferred to the community and KCEN was able to stop a full block of predatory development in Central District. The Chinatown International District Coalition has shown their support with their statement, “The International District and Central District, as neighbors and historically redlined communities, share a rich, multiracial history, where Black and Asian and Indigenous folks often lived, worked, raised families, together – and stood in cross-community solidarity and struggle with one another…Today the CID Coalition stands in support of Africatown and KCEN’s efforts to return [the Keiro] property under the ownership of the Black community – to continue Keiro’s legacy of serving and reflecting our communities, to provide care and housing for those who have been driven out and away from their systems of support due to gentrification and displacement.” To support their efforts in purchasing the land, please make a contribution here. Seattle has an extensive history of building community through successful occupations.

Oppression is a global issue. The Oromo Youth Association of Seattle, a youth led organization that led an Oromo women’s march in South Seattle on July 2 among many marches and gatherings throughout the past week. The Oromo population, an ethnic group in Ethiopia, has led protests in Minnesota, Ohio, Seattle and Washington D.C., where large communities of Oromo people live, because of continued unrest in Ethiopia. This video captures their demands. This youth led organization is not only working for the Black Lives Matter Movement, but they are demanding the release of two U.S. citizens from Seattle, Redwan Aman and Yusuf Beshir who are unlawfully detained by the Ethiopian government for their activism work. Komo 4 highlighted their story, and they will be releasing their fundraising efforts soon. As mentioned int he video, “the Oromo people are your neighbors, your friends, your classmates, and your fellow protestors here in the United States. Please take action and help us free our people and get them the equality and justice they deserve.”

More organizations, collectives, community efforts and businesses to consider supporting:

· Friends of Little Saigon is having a flash merchandise sale through July 12! In their words, “the spirit of Little Saigon is rooted in our collective ability to adapt and make the best of our circumstances…Our elders built this community, and our younger generation has the power to keep their legacy alive. We want to create a fun, easy way to empower more people to express their Việt pride and make a difference for our Vietnamese community. 100% of proceeds from the sales of these inaugural designs will go toward Chinatown-International District Restaurant and other Small Business Relief Fund.”

· We’ve begun distributing food in the Rainier Beach Community Center parking lot, which shares space with South Lake High School and South Shore Pre-8 School. South Shore is selling Black Lives Matter t-shirts, with art created by South Shore student alumni, Saiyana Suzumura. The design highlights the zip code 98118, which, years ago was America’s most diverse zip code. Due to factors such as gentrification, that is no longer the case. Purchase a shirt here (they’re selling out fast), or you can simply make a donation here. All proceeds will go towards supporting students, families, and teachers.

· The PTSA at Maple Elementary School is also selling Black Lives Matter shirts until July 10th. Purchase a shirt here.

· La Roxay Productions, in collaboration with Southwest Youth and Family Services (New Futures Program), Para Los Niños de Highline, Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, Colectiva Legal del Pueblo are hosting “Feeding El Pueblo,” a community food drive that will bring “culturally relevant foods to the Highline Service Areas Latinx community (defined by living in the following cities: Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and White Center). Donate culturally relevant foods or funds to this effort, where 10% of donations will go to “Garinagu HounGua – a nonprofit formed by a group of Garifuna immigrants in Seattle in response to the desire to preserve the unique cultural and religious practices of the Garifuna people, and to combat the challenges that many low income immigrants must face living in the United States.” Donate funds here. For more information, please visit here.

· Lavender Rights Project “advances a more just and equitable society by providing low-cost civil legal services and community programming centered in values of social justice for trans and queer low-income people and other marginalized communities. Through direct representation and community programming, our by-and-for services aim to radically re-imagine the legal landscape for LGBTQ+ people while building community resilience, encouraging self-advocacy, and asserting the rights of marginalized populations.”

· Seattle Green Book has a directory of more than 200 local Black-owned businesses

· 206 Langston is hosting the Seattle Black Film Festival this weekend

· WA Therapy Fund, help fund mental health support

· Seattle Medium is an African American owned newspaper that “produce and distribute the publications of choice that residents of the Seattle area read to stay informed regarding issues and events that affect and enhance the quality of life in the African American and minority communities.”

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