2016 - Spring

MUCH MORE THAN CROSS WALKS

Photo Courtesy Alex Garland the Capitol Hill Times

A opportunity for contemplation and discussion

 

First, I’d like to implore you, the non-Black reader, to change your gut reaction to any discomfort you may feel, because giving in to that feeling has already caused too many tragedies for both of us.

I’d like to remind you that the history of a place can never be removed. In the soil of the Central District there are the roots of trees that were cleared to build homes as well as the roots of the families that were cleared to make room for your own family. Memories of births, proposals, summer musings and grandma’s house just may make your backyard garden bloom. The up-the-street-from-the-schoolhouse fights may well have been waged on your lawn with two boys shaking hands to end each of them. The Auntie that made the best cake may have perfected that recipe in your now updated kitchen. These things can’t be knocked down, upcycled or boxed in to the houses you place on top of them because they seep into the rhythm of a place. All of these are memories that have yielded to make room for the creation of your own memories. Your children are skipping down the streets that have been the backdrop of our families through the draft, crack and minimum sentencing “weeding”.

The crosswalks are an opportunity for all of us to have the conversation about that history and the decisions that changed its course. They are also an opportunity to recognize, challenge and eliminate the biases and internalized thoughts that influenced those choices. My aim is for the crosswalks to be a piece of heART that will act as a stimulus for the real work, the work each of us has to do within ourselves. They are absolutely an act of resilience, love, revolution and candor and I hope that you allow them to inspire for you as they have for me, a stint of self-knowledge and care.

Now for the work to be done, here are some ways you can start. When you hear our music proud and indecent, when you see us waiting outside for a ride, or a cake, or love. Stop calling the police on us, we’re not in Palestine. When you see someone whose rage is closer to the surface in a coffee shop or on the sidewalk, get up and say something, I promise you’ll be more protected than we will. When you are on a hiring panel give DeShona a closer look and hire based on merit, not your ability to read her name. And when you approach a crosswalk that is red, Black and green, remember, like we must, the names of those that have died as a result of racism.

Our fathers that gave their freedom to build the marijuana industry that you now tote as an expression of color blind spiritualism deserve to walk free on a little resistance. Our great grandmothers that remain deserve to roll across a reminder of what used to be, blood (red), beauty (Black) and a land where we belong (green). The new residents that are just trying to survive deserve a regular reminder that we still had to spray paint to be recognized and their privilege played a part in that.

Our complex feelings and memories can’t be pillaged when an ally exercises their privilege to buy. Those of us born after the push out are shouting, strategizing and dying to be Black and free without a home camp to retreat to. We are busing into the city, pushing for a revolutionary reality, then scattering into the wind to go home. We are creating our memories and shaping our reality in spite of separation, resistance and the unwillingness of our allies to be uncomfortable. These crosswalks are a needed respite, but we will continue working until we are free, I implore you to do the same. 

Photo Courtesy Alex Garland the Capitol Hill Times

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Meet Your New Board

Meet your new Squire Park Community Council Board leaders. Bring them your ideas -- your energy.  Get to know their thoughts and aspirations.  New development can be exciting, chaotic and challenging. Now more than ever we need ideas and energy from Squire Park residents.  Better yet, join our board!The Central District is a great place to live and work.  Help embrace and shape the future while not losing much of the character and diversity that drew us here?  Work to respect and reflect the history of our neighborhood?  Help plan the Squire Park Community Council barbecue. Work with our grant committee.A packed agenda, with a focus on supporting our community and neighbors through difficult development and keeping our families safe.  This is your chance to learn what you can do to be proactive and take action to create positive change right here where we live, work and play.We look forward to connecting with you Saturday morning, April 9th at 10:00 am.  We will be meeting at Centerstone, 722 18th Ave.  Refreshments will be served.Please come, bring your ideas, your passion and your family!

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12th Avenue Park & Woonerf – Grand Opening

Seattle Parks and Recreation and 12th Avenue Stewards announce the grand opening celebration of 12th Ave Square Park on Thursday, April 14, 2016, from 5-7:30 p.m. in conjunction with the monthly Capitol Hill Art Walk. Headlining the event is Naomi Wachira, Winner of Seattle Weekly’s 2013 “Best Folk Singer” award. The ribbon-cutting event will kick-off with a trio from the Garfield High Jazz Band. The event is sponsored in part by Swedish Medical Center Foundation and will include refreshments provided by Cherry Street Coffee, Ba Bar Restaurant, and Starbucks Coffee. It is free and open to the public.

The 12th Ave Square Park is located at E. James Court and 12th Avenue between Ba Bar and Cherry Street Coffee House in the Squire Park neighborhood.  It is a great community-gathering place.

Hewitt Architects collaborated with artist and Squire Park resident Ellen Sollod on the park design. The artistic sculptural canopy structure called “Cloud Veil” hovers over a rounded blue “pillow” and the wavy concrete paving design grew out of the collaboration. The park’s unique design also includes a beautiful community table, rain gardens with lush plantings to extend the feeling of open space for the entireblock on E. James Court, a single west-bound lane.

The creation of this new public space was made possible with funding from the Seattle Parks and Green Space Levy Opportunity Fund, the Pro Parks Levy Opportunity Fund, Seattle Parks Foundation Stim Bullitt Parks Excellence Fund, and Seattle Department of Transportation.

For more information about the park or to get updates on the upcoming event please contact karen.o’connor@seattle.gov or 206-233-7929.

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