Category Archives: omari for mayor 2013

State of Africatown Feb 17 – Langston Hughes 10am-1pm

Stepping into 2018 with 2017 in the rear view it’s only right that we have a review before the preview!

We enter Black History Month knowing that the greatest way that we can honor history is to make our history count by building on the positive legacies that were established by those who came before us.

In the midst of all the madness of 2017, we witnessed the fruits of years of work focused on securing land to preserve and develop our community beginning to come into reality.

The struggle for land
Africatown continues to maintain a primary focus on holding ground, gaining ground and breaking ground. To that end, on Juneteenth 2017 we celebrated the Liberty Bank Building groundbreaking with an amazing community ceremony. The unique partnership between Capitol Hill Housing, Byrd Barr Place (Formerly Centerstone/CAMP) & Black Community Impact Alliance the project brings 115 affordable housing units and commercial space and other opportunities to mitigate the displacement of Black community and identity honoring the legacy of Liberty Bank established in 1968.

Community benefits on the Liberty Bank Building include:

Commissioning 8 African American artists to tell the story of Liberty Bank and the community that used the bank.

Nearly four million dollars in subcontracts to African American owned businesses,
Commercial space to continue the legacy of Black entrepreneurship that flourished in the Central District.

Prioritizing our community that has been displaced or at risk of displacement

Lastly we will need your help to make sure every corner of our community that is now spread out over King & Pierce county get the message about affordable housing opportunities.

The next big news is that Africatown Community Land Trust was able to successfully gain ground, securing 20% of the Midtown Center block to develop Africatown Plaza, partnering with Capitol Hill Housing to bring their development expertise to the project and build on the collaboration started across the street at the Liberty Bank Building. In addition to affordable rental housing, we are working hard to have affordable homeownership town home units on the site as well. We are working with Homestead Community Land Trust on this and other sites in the community to bring much needed affordable ownership to moderate and lower income working individuals and families who are being priced out of Seattle.

Africatown Community Land Trust is also working with the private developer Lake Union Partners who purchased the property and owns the northern parcel of to ensure that the entire block brings the legacy of the Black community into the future through ownership, contracting opportunities to build and commercial space for small locally owned businesses in the new development.

Building on the Imagine Africatown initiative to gather community aspirations, desires and visions for the future, we continue to engage our community through Africatown Design Ciphers to help design a building that reflects our culture and influence.

Economic Development
It has been said, “if you have no businesses in a community then you have no business in the community”. Black Dot was founded in 2015 to nurture the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of the community and pilot content and activities envisioned to reside permanently in

For 2017, Black Dot set out to help launch and grow 100 Black businesses and despite challenges with the previous owner of Black Dot’s causing a relocation, we made significant progress in assisting seventy-five businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Through programs including MasterMind Mondays, Artrepreneurs, and Growth Marketing Lab, Black Dot provides supportive community, technical assistance and mentoring as well as help accessing funding by partnering with the Seattle Office of Economic Development, Mercy Corps and Business Impact NW.

The Growth Marketing Lab featured experts from Glowforge, Add3 Agency and Madrona Capital providing our entrepreneurs like Akua Kariamu –, Abiola Akkani – Yoga by Biola and serial entrepreneur Cameron Sparks – Deadstock, with the same strategies and techniques used to acquire customers, scale growth and drive revenue at major companies and successful startups.

Black Dot also partnered with Amazon Black Employees Network train entrepreneurs to sell on Amazon and Office of Arts & Culture to to host a workshop with the legendary Xenobia Bailey.

Focusing on individual financial literacy the Black Money Talk Meetup featured presenters including experienced wealth strategist MichaelJohn Green and Carnisha Rodgers founder of Something Different Accounting. As community interest Bitcoin grew, we hosted Cryptocurrency 101 Bootcamps featuring Evan Poncelet, to make sure our community is plugged in to emerging technologies and the economic opportunities within.

Education & Youth: Sparking The Minds That Will Change The World
Africatown Center for Education & Innovation continues to provide a home for Umoja PEACE Center youth programs. We continued to provide STEAM programing including our Young Geniuses Code Lab and Visual Design Lab.

With support of dedicated community members and support from Seattle University we were able to launch the Umoja Academy as an African centered summer gains program for our young scholars age 5-12. Youth learned literacy

The 3rd annual Africatown Doctor for A Day program with UW SNMA and featured Dr. Benjamin Danielson who is working hard to keep the legacy of Odessa Brown rooted in the Central District. The school year ended with the second Annual Seattle-King County Black Graduation honoring our young people making the step to the next phase of development.

Community & Culture
In 2017 we launched the Africatown Community Builders Brunches to engage our community with the theme of “Black History Black Futures”, in March we celebrated Black Women with Honoring our Queens and in May we honored Malcolm X Week.

Umoja Fest 2017 continues to grow as a platform for our culture, businesses furthering the legacies of the East Madison Mardi Gras and the Pacific NW Black Community Festival. The Best of Both Worlds fashion show was a highlight.

Additionally, Africatown was happy sponsor, support and participate in events in many enriching and empowering community events including Eritrean Independence Day and Women’s Day celebrations, Ethiopian Community Affordable Housing Launch, Seattle Caribbean Festival, AfroLatino Fest, From The Hood To The Hood, NW African Reunion BBQ, Through The Eyes of Art, Black Wealth Power Summit, and more.

Overall, 2017 was active and productive and we continue to building in 2018. This year look out for the launch of our Africatown Innovation Ecosystem Advisory Group, Africatown Research & Policy Collective, the Africatown Business Network and Africatown Health & Wellness Initiative in addition to building on existing efforts of the Africatown Community Land Trust.

We are looking to partner with many more community members, organizations stakeholders in our community.

If you haven’t already done so be sure to register your business or organization or refer others to online directory.

We look forward to seeing you at State of Africatown 2017 Saturday, Feb. 2017!

The 5th annual State of Africatown: Team African American African Diaspora Gathering will be held on Saturday, February 17th, 10am-1pm at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and will feature presentations on the accomplishments of the last year, as well as vision, opportunities, and challenges facing the African American and African Diaspora community in 2018 and beyond.

Once again, the 2018 event promises to be powerful and inspirational and will include the Elders of Distinction Awards, Showcase of Youth Brilliance and featured presenters including:

Dr. Marcia Tate Arunga – Libations
Tim Lennon – Langston
Elmer Dixon – 50th Anniversary of Seattle Black Panther Party
Andrea Caupain – Byrd Barr Place (formerly Centerstone/C.A.M.P.)
Carol Williams – Historic Central Area Arts & Cultural District
Multi Media Resource & Training Institute – Central District Stories
Sara Zewde — Imagine Africatown: Designing Our Future
Feven Werede – Eritrean Community of Seattle And Vicinity
Dr. Ben Danielson – Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic
Andre Taylor – Not This Time/De-Escalate Washington
First Place Scholars – Showcase of Brilliance
Africatown Youth Ambassadors – State of Education
Chukundi Salisbury – Showing Up For Our Youth
Zam Zam – Voices of Tomorrow
Evelyn Allen – Black Community Impact Alliance
Debrena Jackson-Gandy – Elevate Movement Direct Impact Dollars Initiative
Anthony Stewart – Building Our Innovation Ecosystem
K. Wyking Garrett – State of Africatown


BrandKings and MoPop Museum present the 5th Annual “Through the Eyes of Art” Black History Month Celebration

BrandKings and MoPop Museum proudly present the fifth annual “Through the Eyes of Art,” a special event designed to help foster stronger communities in the Puget Sound region. In recognition of the evening’s theme, “The Tie between Sports & Activism,” the program will include a panel discussion, live performance, the presentation of the Community Servanthood Award, a Poetry Slam and an Art Showcase highlighting paintings by members of the African American community.

The evening will feature a panel discussion centered around the theme of “The Tie between Sports & Activism.” Guest panelists will include: Donald Watts, former University of Washington Basketball Player; Joey Thomas, former Green Bay Packer & current Garfield High School Football Head Coach; Mario Bailey, former University of Washington Wide Receiver and others. “We wanted to pull together a collection of local athletes to have a conversation about what inspires them to act and how athletes can use their platform for good.” Says Draze, event organizer.

In the spirit of celebrating Seattle’s rich sports history, Through the Eyes of Art honors Daryll Hennings and Dan Finkley as the recipients of the 2018 Servanthood Award. For over 20 years this duo has mentored, trained and cultivated some of the Northwest’s greatest basketball talent. From names like Aaron Brooks (Minnesota Timberwolves); DeJounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs); Marvin Williams (Charlotte Bobcats); Peyton Siva (Louisville) and to the hundreds of other young people who will never play in a college or NBA arena. Daryll and Dan’s commitment to youth development is unmatched. Through their belief that youth basketball is about building character and lifelong memories that has turned the Rotary Boys & Girls Club AAU Program into a community gem and nationwide power house.

This year’s event features the Byrd Barr Place Art Exhibit from local painters creating works around the theme. “Every year this event takes a look at a different issue impacting the Black community. Art is a language that everyone understands. This exhibit is going to be nothing short of amazing.” Says event coordinator, Ja’Net Williams. Capping the night off will be live performances by Northwest Tap along with a Poetry Slam featuring some of the region’s top spoken word artists.

Tickets now on sale at MoPop.Org.

Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Time: 7:00pm-11:00pm
Venue: MoPOP’s Sky Church; 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109
Tickets: $15 general admission ($12 MoPOP members, youth ages 5-17); all ages

Copyright © 2018 Africatown Seattle, All rights reserved.

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Our mailing address is:
Africatown Seattle
PO Box 22328
Seattle, WA 98122

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From Greg Jackson
Date Wed, 20 May 1998 14:11:56 -0700 (PDT)

Peace all,

I. Update as of May 20th.

Last Monday (May 18), we met with King Co. Councilman Larry Gossett,
Seattle City Councilman Richard McIver, Lt. Harry Bailey (SPD-east
prct.), Capt. Diaz (SPD-east prcnt.), and reps from the Wa. Department of Transportation, and King Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Neither Bob or anyone from his camp was present at this event.

On our side were members the Youth Action Committee (myself included), founder Omari Tahir, co-founder Earl Debnam, students from Evergreen State College, a rep from the Nigerian Community Association of Washington State, and a sister from the Ethiopian community.

Also present was Tony Orange of the African-American Affairs Dept. of the State of Washington.

Each side remains steadfast in their intentions: the city and state
want us out, and the museum and grassroots (us) intend on staying and serving the people.


With love for the Central District, Africatown activist Tahir-Garrett plans run for City Council seat


Story reposted from

Posted on Friday, May 15, 2015 – 7:03 am by Bryan Cohen

Omari Tahir-Garrett doesn’t mince words when it comes to talking about gentrification in the Central District. For him, African American families priced out of the neighborhood amounts to “ethnic cleansing.”

That won’t come as a shock to those familiar with the Central District/Africatown activist and slavery reparations advocate who once assaulted former Mayor Paul Schell with a bull horn in response to the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man.

Whatever you may think of Garrett, his love for his neighborhood is undeniable. The 69-year-old, lifelong Central District resident displays the vitality and determination of an activist a third his age. This year, he wants to take his fight to City Council.


Editorial: Seattle School Board must do better for kids

The Seattle School Board is rife with infighting and mutual distrust, says an outside consultant hired by the board.

THE Seattle School Board is dysfunctional. Years of infighting and mutual distrust should not be tolerated — it comes at the expense of students.

This insight comes from an outside consultant, hired by the board for $7,500, to tell it what the public observes every other Wednesday evening.

Asked to rate themselves, board members gave the lowest marks to how well they worked together and fostered a trusting relationship with Superintendent José Banda.

The problem may be personality differences but also ineptitude. Too many members come to this board without a clear understanding of what a school board does. A school board member should make policy, advise the superintendent and not try to run the district.

The problems are too big to ignore. This is as much about the current board as it is about how to shape the next board. Board President Kay Smith-Blum and past President Michael DeBell are not seeking re-election. Member Betty Patu is running unopposed.

The Seattle Public Schools has many strong schools and involved communities. But academic quality and progress are uneven. Time wasted on board dysfunction, including time spent on personality conflicts as well as delayed policy decisions, slows momentum on important improvements.

The district has had difficulty keeping top staffers, a problem cited in state audits as an obstacle to substantive progress.

No surprise, district administrators, speaking anonymously to the consultant, complained of heavy micromanaging by board members. Some administrators said they felt their jobs were threatened.

Superintendent Banda used a recent board retreat to remind board members that he is in charge of running the district. The administrators work for him, not the board. The board has one employee: Banda. They will tell him how well his first year has gone on Wednesday when they take up his evaluation.

Research shows a correlation between effective school boards and enhanced student achievement. A study of school boards by the National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education compared high and low-performing school districts with similar levels of poverty and disadvantaged students. The study found the differences in success could often be attributed to the school board.

For the past five years, the Alliance for Education has paid for leadership and governance training for Seattle’s school board, including quarterly retreats. But the board has had difficulty putting that training into practice.

That must change.

Central District News: New Editor

Your new CD News editor
Posted on June 17, 2013 by Megan Hill

When I noticed the post a few weeks ago announcing Tom Fucoloro’s departure, I had two thoughts: Those are some big shoes to fill. And, I think I can do that.

I’m pleased to announce I’ll have a shot at filling those shoes. I’m stepping in as your new Central District News editor, and I’m excited to be here.

I’m a Central District resident and a freelance writer. You may have seen my name in Edible Seattle or Seattle Weekly; I contribute to both regularly. Though most of my writing as a professional has been feature stories, I’m a trained journalist and I’m looking forward to getting back into hard news and reporting.

And I’m looking forward to putting my own spin on this site. To that end, I hope you’ll be patient with me as I get my sea legs. I hope in time I can create a site that you find reliable and enjoyable.

I also want to hear from you: What are you expectations? What do you like about the site, and what would you like to see change? Your ideas will be a big help moving forward.

Thanks, and let’s make this site a great one.
Share this:15 thoughts on “Your new CD News editor”

Tom Fucoloro on June 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm said:
You’re gonna be great! I look forward to following your coverage of the neighborhood.

Also, my shoes are size 10.5 if anyone wants to buy me some. They’re not too big 🙂
Reply ↓ gia on June 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm said:

congrats on your new job and welcome aboard! One of the things that i enjoy about not only our neighborhood, but this site as well, is the diversity. I hope that we can continue to be the voice of everyone in our neighborhood. Glad to meet you and looking forward to your imprint on this site 🙂
Reply ↓ JohnK on June 17, 2013 at 7:32 pm said:

Congrats to you on your new job and a big hats off to Tom for doing such a great job,,I agree with a previous poster that diversity is very important..The most important thing for me about this site happened today..I heard helicopters flying over my house, I logged on and immediately there was an update on here letting us know the news..Good Luck and we are very lucky to have a website for our neighborhood…..JFK
Reply ↓ Frank on June 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm said:

Welcome and thanks for stepping up!

Ryan A on June 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm said:

Thanks for stepping to the plate Megan. The things I rely most on CDNews for are: breaking CD news; transportation angles; development news; community info; and Grumbo. Good luck!

Eyes on June 18, 2013 at 8:07 am said:
look forward to your direction and growth of the CD news.

Sebastian Garrett-Singh on June 18, 2013 at 8:44 am said: Congratulations Megan. I look forward to seeing your coverage of the CD.

liesbeth robison on June 18, 2013 at 8:51 am said:

welcome new editor. 🙂
I loved all the power outage/mudslide/big tree/roadblock/festival updates. this was always extremely helpful and much appreciated. Thank you Tom and best of luck to you!

John Sewell on June 18, 2013 at 8:55 am said:

Thanks for taking on the job and best wishes! I’m particularly fond of when there are maps and photos along with the stories to help me locate the discussed item in our neighborhood. I hope you’re able to find resources to help with that.

Allecia Vermillion on June 18, 2013 at 8:58 am said:
Congrats Megan! I’m glad my neighborhood news blog will be in such capable hands. And I know I can count on some good beer coverage, too.

FNH on June 18, 2013 at 9:05 am said:
Welcome! I follow this site to keep up with neighborhood news and developments from near and far. Splitting our time between homes in the CD and in TX, CDN keeps us connected to the neighborhood year-round. Thank you to both incoming and outgoing editors for all of your hard work!

ktkeller on June 18, 2013 at 9:37 am said:
Welcome Megan! And thank you Tom for all you have done.
What I like to see: Breaking news and followup, CD focussed, human interest, event and community activities coverage and build a network of people who will report.

My only advice? Stay true to your mission as a journalist and stay strong when there slings and arrows cast 🙂

Omari on June 18, 2013 at 10:06 am said:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


Del on June 18, 2013 at 10:41 am said:
Welcome aboard! My request? Avoid censorship. Clearly you need to police abusive and off topic language, but if any mention whatsoever – even when all the other news sites are covering it – of certain issues means comments are deleted or stories are just plain ignored as if they don’t exist, well, that makes readers go elsewhere. Fast.

Juneteenth Mayoral Candidates Forum


Presents: Africatown Central District

Juneteenth Mayoral Candidates Forum

Wednesday, June 19th, 6pm-9pm

Horace Mann Building
2410 East Cherry Street


For more information contact Viche Thomas at: or call 206-349-4362

Co-sponsored and supported by:
Umoja P.E.A.C.E. Center,Good Hair Salon, La Amistad School,Africatown-Central District Preservation & Development Alliance,Uovement Clothing,Brothas Buildin,More 4 Mann Coalition, Mothers Outreach Movement,Ijo Arts,Seattle Hip Hop Youth Council, Outside Thinc Agency,Fresh Coast Society,Mint Factory Clothing,West Africoast Media,Al-Noor Academy of Arts and Science and more….
Thomas,africatown,central district,seattle times,central district news,

Global Power Project, Part 1: Exposing the Transnational Capitalist Class


By Andrew Gavin Marshall,

The Global Power Project, an investigative series produced by, aims to identify and connect the worldwide institutions and individuals who comprise today’s global power oligarchy.

By studying the relationships and varying levels of leadership that govern our planet’s most influential institutions — from banks, corporations and financial institutions to think tanks, foundations and universities — this project seeks to expose the complex, highly integrated network of influence wielded by relatively few individuals on a national and transnational basis.

This is not a study of wealth, but a study of power.