I was the founder and head teacher of the BENJAMIN BANNEKER SCHOOL AND MADE THE BLACK BOARDS. The school was located at my personal house at 424-24th ave East Seattle 98102.

And later was used by the University of Washington Black Student Union for their School / Daycare named MAHALI KWA WATOTO Swahili for “A CHILDRENS PLACE” before I went to Ghana West Africa in summer of 1974,

Omari Tahir-Garrett

Sundiata Acoli, Man Who Murdered State Trooper, To Be Released On Parole

Murder suspect Clark Edward Squire of the Black Panthers is

AP – Posted: 09/29/2014 12:55 pm EDT Updated: 09/29/2014 12:59 pm

A man convicted in the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper in a crime that still provokes strong emotion among law enforcement more than 40 years later was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court Monday.

Sundiata Acoli was known as Clark Edward Squire when he was convicted of the 1973 slaying of state trooper Werner Foerster during a stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. Now in his mid-70s, he was denied parole most recently in 2011, but the appellate judges reversed that ruling Monday.

In a 28-page opinion, the panel wrote that the parole board ignored evidence favorable to Acoli and gave undue consideration to past events such as a probation violation that occurred decades earlier.
One of the three people in the car when it was stopped was Joanne Chesimard, who also was convicted of Foerster’s slaying, but eventually escaped to Cuba and is now known as Assata Shakur. Last year, state and federal authorities announced a $2 million reward for information leading to her capture, and the FBI made her the first woman on its list of most wanted terrorist.


African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest 16th Annual Africa Day Business Forum


Join the African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest for our 16th Annual Africa Day Business Forum, an informative and entertaining all-day event to learn about the different business, investment, and trade opportunities between Africa and the Pacific Northwest!

The Africa Day Business Forum is an all-day event. This year’s theme is “Wake Up to the New Africa: business and investment opportunities” and will include Business Forums, Panel Discussions, Lunch, Dinner, and an Auction with local African entertainment. There will also be opportunities to hear and network with over 200 attendees from businesses, government representatives, and Africa dignitaries.

Business Forum topics include:
– Overview of US – Africa trade relations past, present and future
– Trade and investment opportunities in Africa
– Initiating bilateral trade relationships with Africa from the Pacific Northwest
– Ways to finance exporting ventures to Africa
– Regulations and restrictions of doing business in Africa
– The usefulness of the private sector in development in Africa
– Role of the transportation sector in the development of Africa
– Pacific Northwest business success stories
– Empowering women in business in Africa
– The role of information technology in Africa
– The importance of agriculture in African development

Saturday, November 8, 2014
8:00am 10:00pm

The Motif Hotel (former Red Lion Hotel)
1415 5th Avenue
Seattle WA 98101

Please contact us with any questions at:
(206) 256-6139

Registration Closes October 15, 2014


Central District Startup Weekend Friday, September 26 – 28, 2014

Central District Startup Weekend Friday, September 26 – 28, 2014
Event starts at 4:00 pm

Garfield High School
400 23rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122

How might we create fertile ground for the African American community in Seattle to grow with the city’s current tech boom?
We’re starting with Hack the CD – an entrepreneurial jam session with Central District residents, business owners, community organizers, designers, and developers. We aim to help spur new and unique business creation through entrepreneurial education, community investment through collaboration, and social innovation through tech mentorship. The Central District Startup Weekend event will be held at Garfield High School from Friday, 9/26 – Sunday, 9/28, with 40-50 students and 40-50 designers, developers, and entrepreneurs, and up to 150 total participants in the Sunday night musical celebration of the weekend’s achievements.

Coding skills not required. All ages. No high school or college degree necessary. Scholarships available upon request.

Contact hackthecd [at] for more info.

Friday September 26th

4:00 pm
Ideation Cipher
Get your ideas flowing at the Spiddit Popup Booth inside Garfield Teen Life Center with DJ Surreal hacking the turntables.

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Event Judges

Jasmine Lawrence
Founder, EDEN Bodyworks

Jasmine Lawrence currently serves at Microsoft as a Program Manager on the Xbox One Engineering team. A recent graduate of Georgia Tech, Jasmine earned her bachelors degree in Computer Science and conducted robotics research at the Georgia Tech Healthcare Robotics Lab and the Robotics and Intelligent Machines Lab. This fall she will begin a Master program in Human Centered Design and Engineering. Jasmine founded EDEN BodyWorks at the age of 13, after attending a NFTE BizCamp in 2004. Devastated by harsh chemical products, 11 year-old Jasmine sought to develop unique products that were all natural and really worked. Her products are now available nationwide at retailers nationwide including CVS, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Kroger, and Sally’s Beauty Supply Store.

Yoli Chisholm
Founder, We Learn Live

As a seasoned revenue marketer at Microsoft and start-up mentor, Yoli Chisholm has been at the bleeding edge and active participant in every digital marketing transformation in the last 20 years. The daughter of South African freedom fighters Yoli brings a radical approach & POV to excellence in business and life. “Scrappy discipline” is her mantra where innovation is the backbone of running thriving organizations, fusing a message of proven performance principles and disciplined risk taking. As the Founder and Chief Entrepreneur at WELL | she will be teaching and helping entrepreneurs bring ideas from concept to customers.

Maurice Woods
Founder, Inneract Project

Maurice Woods graduated with honors from the University of Washington with a BFA and MFA in Visual Communication Design. He played basketball as an undergraduate and professionally worldwide for 7 years. In 2003, Maurice returned to the University of Washington as a graduate student, teaming up with the UW Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GOMAP) and the Visual Communication department to bring his design skills to the community, developing the Inneract Project, a program to teach inner city youth and the community about the power of design. In his professional career, Maurice worked on various retail, exhibit and identity programs for clients such as Nike, Greyhound, Experience Music Project (EMP),, the San Francisco Muni Transportation Association (SFMTA) and Saint Mary’s College of California. Maurice has lectured nationally and internationally, served on the Board of the AIGA San Francisco and nationally as a Board of Advisor for the Diversity Archive Exhibition and Design Ignites Change.

Mentors, Coaches & Speakers

Arif Gursel
Founder, VibeHeavy

Arif is the Senior Product Manager of Revenue Growth at Zillow and is very active in the Seattle Startup community. He specializes in product development, strategic business engagements, partner alliances, business model analysis, and technology strategy equipped to lead initiatives & people toward common goals. As a highly adaptable communicator and motivator, Arif works with diverse management styles and people across all levels of an organization. A blend of curiosity, creativity, persistence, commitment, passion, and optimism are his keys to success.

Leo Osahor
Founder, flightSpeak

Leo is the founder and CEO of flightSpeak, a Seattle startup with ambitions to change the way people travel. His journey started with degrees in engineering, finance, and strategy, which led to a 5-yr stint at Microsoft. Leo is also the founder of the Daniels Consulting and Strategy Group, as well as an alumnus of the University of Denver. When not working on flightSpeak, he enjoys exploring languages, music, and discovering new food spots.

Toyia Taylor

Toyia T. Taylor is the founder and CEO of the premier company for public speaking, (act. present. perform.). teaches professionals and youth how to discover their natural speaking style so that their professional and personal conversations aren’t contrived. The objective of each course is to teach transparency and the ability to speak and engage with power so that regardless if individual’s are speaking to one person or a standing room only, each word is sincere and impactful! Toyia earned her Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership from Seattle University. She is also the first woman of color to compete in the Miss America Pageant as an orator.

Pradnya Desh
Managing Partner, Desh International Law

Pradnya Desh is the managing partner of Desh International Law, a Bellevue-based law firm that focuses on business, technology, and international law. Her firm represents companies on angel financing, mergers & acquisitions, international investment and sales, and as outside general counsel. She is a former US diplomat who represented the United States at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Trish Millines Dziko
Co-Founder, TAF

Trish Millines Dziko founded TAF in 1996 after spending 15 years as a developer, designer and manager in the high tech industry. A native of New Jersey who attended Monmouth College (now Monmouth University) on a basketball scholarship, she graduated with a B.S. in computer science in 1979, a time when few people of color and few women were entering the field. Her successful career brought her to Microsoft in the mid-1980s, just as the pioneering software company was set to become a worldwide brand. Over the next decade of tremendous growth, she saw very little change in the high tech industry: women and people of color remained grossly underrepresented. After looking closely at the problem as Microsoft’s first Sr. Diversity Administrator, she determined the only solution was to increase the number of qualified people graduating from college. She traced the root of the problem to the lack of access to rigorous, relevant technology training in our public schools, particularly those in traditionally underserved communities of color. Trish left Microsoft in 1996, the same year she founded TAF. In addition to her work at TAF, Trish remains a committed, proactive leader and serves on the boards of several organizations that focus on children and education. Trish has received dozens of local and national awards for her work improving the educational opportunities for children of color. Trish and her partner live on Vashon Island and are the proud parents of 4 children.

Jonathan Copley
Founder, CFOCare Inc.

For 35+ years, Jonathan Copley has been helping entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams. He is the CEO & Founder of CFOCare Inc. which specializes in Business Consulting and Education for entrepreneurs. He is also Founder of Grow50, a consortium of leading professional firms supporting early-stage businesses. Jonathan’s expertise includes CEO Coaching, fundraising, strategy and valuation for early-stage businesses. He is the Chief Energy Officer at the Center of Energizing Leadership where he oversees CFOCare’s Energy Cabinet Incubator program for pre-revenue and early stage entrepreneurs. In the early nineties Jonathan worked with World Cup 94 Chairman Alan Rothenberg to develop the business and marketing plan for Major League Soccer, which now includes the Seattle Sounders.

Julaine Smith
Founder, ARISE Business Solutions, LLC

Julaine Smith, CPA is Founder and Managing Member of ARISE Business Solutions, LLC and co-Founder and Managing Member of Accountant Smart, LLC. She has more than 25 years’ experience working in the areas of business development, accounting and finance, and business coaching. As the Eternal Wealth Coach® at ARISE, she empowers women business owners to transform their fledgling companies into profitable G (“Generous”) Corporation® businesses, and build organizations that use wealth to uplift the communities they serve. Her accounting services firm, Accountant Smart, provides outsourced, cloud-based accounting services to small- to medium-sized businesses. Julaine is the host of a weekly radio show, “Loving God and Making Money,” which airs on KKOL 1300 AM. She serves on the Advisory Board for Northwest University’s School of Business and Management, and is a former board member and chairperson of the coaching committee for the angel investment group, Seraph Capital Forum. During her corporate finance career, Julaine served as VP Finance for AT&T Broadband and completed her public accounting experience with Price Waterhouse in San Francisco.

Hakon Verespej

Hakon works at Madrona Venture Group, a Seattle-based venture capital firm, where he helps portfolio companies build their teams and does community development. He’s passionate about entrepreneurship, hacking technology, and shared experiences. He can’t wait to meet all of you!

Semira Lacet-Brown
Co-Founder, Code Monsters

Semira Lacet-Brown is an 11 year old 7th grader at Seabury Middle School in Tacoma, WA. Semira’s favorite activities are coding, robotics, and reading. Semira, along with a friend and a team of adults, won first place at the Start-Up Weekend at University of Washington after pitching an idea for a game that teaches middle school students to write code. She is now the co-founder of a company called Generation Code and she is currently working with the team to develop a game called Code Monsters. She hopes to have a beta version of the game completed by January 2015.

Event Sponsors & Partners

The Central District Startup Weekend team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.
Signature Sponsor

Organizing Team

Startup Weekend Seattle is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

Wyking Garrett
David Harris
Rebecca Lovell
Zithri Saleem
Al Herron


Joey Aquino
Business Development Manager at

Joey Aquino is currently a Business Development Manager at working specifically on the Amazon Appstore. Prior to Amazon he has been involved in the startup space for a few years where he founded 2 non-profits (an incubator for student entrepreneurs and micro-financing program that funded student startups), team member #9 at (acquired by Amazon) and then was a PM at UP Global running their innovation program (Startup Weekend and Startup America merger). His current SW count is over 60 events in 10 countries.


‘The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism’


On Sept. 4, The Economist published a book review, for which it apologized, retracted, and then posted on the web. It created no end of furor and discussion about whether the book, or the review, was racist. The anonymous reviewer accused the author of not giving slave owners any credit for their “better treatment” of the slaves which may have been the reason that cotton production increased. He also found that “Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains.” Since the book concerned slavery in America, Twitter went delightfully mad with #economistbookreviews.


Workers in Maine Buy Out Their Jobs, Set an Example for the Nation


On remote Deer Isle, Maine, the movement for a more just and democratic economy won a major victory this summer. More than 60 employees of three retail businesses – Burnt Cove Market, V&S Variety and Pharmacy, and The Galley – banded together to buy the stores and create the largest worker cooperative in Maine and the second largest in New England.

Now the workers own and run the businesses together under one banner, known as the Island Employee Cooperative (IEC). This is the first time that multiple businesses of this size and scope have been merged and converted into one worker cooperative – making this a particularly groundbreaking achievement in advancing economic democracy.

Getting There: What It Took
When the local couple that had owned the three businesses for 43 years began to think about selling their stores and retiring, the workers became concerned. The stores were one of the island’s biggest employers and a potential buyer probably would not have come from within the community or maintained the same level of jobs and services. Only a worker buy-out could achieve stability.

Because these workers were trying to accomplish something historic, it took more than a year – and it wasn’t always an easy road. But the workers’ strength lay in their own determination, and in the ability to rely on a group of allies dedicated to growing the cooperative movement. The Independent Retailers Shared Services Cooperative (IRSSC) and the Cooperative Development Institute, helped them develop their management, governance, legal and financial structures. They were also able to secure financing from Maine-based Coastal Enterprises and the Cooperative Fund of New England, both Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs). Without that dedicated technical assistance and available capital, it is doubtful the IEC would be here today.

More Is Needed
While the creation of the IEC maintained dozens of decent paying jobs and a remote community’s only nearby access to essentials such as groceries and prescription medications, it also points to a successful model that could be used across the country to expand ownership and wealth to regular working people. This experience shows that if only we had more resources to experiment with grounded, practical economic policies, we could create many more of the living-wage jobs and community-sustaining businesses we desperately need.

The Great Recession has led many to consider better ways to organize our economy, as always happens during economic downturns. But the reality is that our economy, even during the “good times,” has always been failing working people. So we need to think long term and change our strategies in order to build a durable, democratic, equitable and just economy.


Could Seattle’s ‘Africatown’ be the next Motown?

Could Seattle’s ‘Africatown’ be the next Motown?
09/07/2014 @ 9:27 PM | By David Harris


As a millennial that grew up in Detroit, its hard for me to imagine a time before Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, or Michael Jackson.

Berry Gordy’s frustration with pop culture pushed him to create one of the most successful African­-American owned and operated businesses in the U.S. He envisioned a world where the music he wrote didn’t just live on the local radio stations but would ride to the top of the pop charts. With an $800 loan from his family, Gordy founded Motown Records.

As I look at the recent tech diversity workforce reports, I see data that reflects the current dominant tech culture. To be Black and be a part of the tech ecosystem means that you might have gone to a college or university where you were amongst the 3% who were Computer Science majors according to the Computer Research Association. Recent research also shows that weak ties in your social network might be more diverse than that of your White counterparts, and pattern matching by VC’s could prohibit you from getting funding for your new startup company.


Will the Ferguson Resistance Fade into History? (VIDEO)

Adolph Reed, Jr., a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in race and American politics, speaks with the Real News Network’s Sharmini Peries about the potential historical context of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.


REVOLT Presents ‘Ferguson: The Fire This Time #REVOLTForJustice’

Michael Brown’s body may have been laid to rest last week, but the teenager—who was fatally shot by Ferguson police while unarmed nearly a month ago—continues to spark debate over his controversial passing: between authorities and eyewitnesses regarding the details of his death, between community leaders and government officials about police tactics, and between local residents and national media and their differing takes on the protests and lootings.


Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”
“A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, ‘This is not just.'”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

mlk,martin luther king jr,seattle africatown,