Tag Archives: schools

Students at Los Angeles Thomas Jefferson High School walk out


Students at Thomas Jefferson High School walked out of classes Monday because, they say, they’re not getting the basic education they need. Hundreds of students are demanding a better education. They say in some cases they can’t even get the classes they need just to graduate.


Africatown Center for Education & Innovation at Columbia Annex in South Seattle this Saturday April 19!


Join us for the celebration of the opening of the Africatown Center for Education & Innovation at Columbia Annex in South Seattle this Saturday April 19! (Scroll down for details).

Spring Open House @Africatown Center for Education & Innovation

Join us for the spring open house in our space in South Seattle.

1pm- 3pm – Tours

3pm Welcome to Africatown Center

3:15 Rep. Dawn Mason Report Back from Kenya & Mali

3:30 Africatown Literacy Initiative Read Aloud of the “Stolen Ones”

4pm Presentations from Spring Break Camps

Young Geniuses

Al’ Noor Academy of Arts & Sciences

Fashion Lab

5pm Screening of “The Yard People: An Intergenerational Love Story” (a film by Dr. Joye Hardiman)

An inspirational documentary about a lively group of African-American couples who came together in Buffalo, New York during the 1940’s, and tore down the fences in their back yards to create a more neighborly and supportive environment . Now in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, they remain friends today due to their celebrations of intergenerational love that they have ritualized in the form of “yard parties” and community activism.

5:30 “Building Our Village” Discussion


Henna by ANAAS
Plant in the Garden
Photo Booth

Africatown Center for Education & Innovation at Columbia Annex in South Seattle this Saturday April 19!

In Defense of Africatown The City Just Botched a Chance to Address Race Problems in Schools

From: The Seattle Stanger

On November 12, Seattle police had a WMD moment. According to police “intel,” four men had taken over the Horace Mann school building in the Central District, placed a sniper on the roof, and wired the building with explosives, Detective Renee Witt told reporters. Across the street, dozens of armed officers milled about. A SWAT team was on-site, and the entire block was cordoned off.

Like those nonexistent Iraqi nukes, however, “There were no explosives or weapons found on the premises,” Witt admitted later that week in an e-mail. The most resistance they faced was 67-year-old activist Omari Garrett hollering from a window about the need for a proper warrant before he agreed to come down. The men were arrested, charged with criminal trespassing, and released hours later.

Those men were the final holdouts of a five-month schoolhouse occupation by a coalition calling itself Africatown. Through teach-ins and educational programs, the group sought to bring attention to the disadvantages that African American students face in Seattle schools, but some neighbors, education activists, and even reporters took sides against them, riled by what they deemed an unruly group of “squatters.”

The disparities in Seattle schools are well documented. According to the school district’s data, African American third graders pass state math tests, for example, at half the rate of white students. And over the last decade, suspensions and expulsions have been meted out to black high-school students at least three times as often as to white students, school records show. That prompted the federal Department of Education to begin an investigation last year into whether Seattle Public Schools “discriminate against African American students by disciplining them more frequently and more harshly than similarly situated white students,” according to DOE spokesman Jim Bradshaw.


The struggle for Horace Mann is not over: time to get clear on a few things


8 Nov

Since the summer, members of the historically Black central district community in Seattle have taken back the Horace Mann building from the Seattle Public Schools (SPS). Calling out the district for it’s racially biased suspension rates, lack of culturally relevant curriculum, and general oppression of youth of African descent, they have been running their own educational programs in the building, called the Africatown Innovation and Education Center (AIEC). Hundreds of Black youth have participated in learning activities there over the course of the summer and fall.

The school district wants to begin renovations on this building immediately, so that it can be turned over to a majority-white alternative school called Nova (even though many Nova teachers, parents, and students do not want to displace the AEIC). Africatown residents have refused to move, delaying construction and creating an accelerating political crisis for the SPS leadership. For background info, click here and here.

Horace Mann is located at 24th and Cherry St., Seattle. Barring a police raid, there will be a Black labor movie night and disucssion there on Fri at 6 PM. I encourage everyone to go by and check it out for yourself.
This week, the struggle kicked into high gear. In this post, I’ll attempt to provide an update based on my own observations as a participant in recent movement activities, as well as info from reliable sources within the movement.

My goal is to provide an orientation for supporters who might be starting to get involved right now.
It’s especially important to orient ourselves because there’s been a wave of negative media attacks on the More4Mann movement that threaten to sew confusion among supporters. The movement responded with a powerful press conference on Saturday, and a strong presence at last night’s school board meeting. As Kiro 7 reports, the board meeting was packed, with people waiting in line to get in.

The agenda for the Nov 6th board meeting was supposed to include a vote on whether the school district would lease space to the AIEC to continue the educational programs they had started in the Mann building while Mann is being renovated. This was part of Superintendent Jose Banda’s public, verbal promise to help facilitate their temporary move to another building, part of the partnership he said he wanted to develop with the AIEC educators to help close the racial achievement gap.

However, SPS legal counsel Ron English later informed him – suspiciously late in the process – that he could not make this sort of deal on his own and that it would have to be put up to a school board vote. This delayed the negotiations, causing libertarian-minded opponents of both Africatown AND Banda to become more and more enraged about how much money is being lost due to delays in renovations at at Mann.


Disrupting the Miseducation of African American Youth

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

See the Video

The Real Issue at Horace Mann

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Debate the issues facing Seattle Public Schools, share your opinions, read the latest news. Organize and work for high quality public schools that educate all students to become passionate, lifelong learners.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Let me begin by setting a foundation. EVERYONE agrees that African-American students have been mis-educated by Seattle Public Schools and by public school districts across the nation. Black students have been presented with inadequate and inappropriate academic opportunities, they have been denied equitable access to programs and services, they have been disproportionately disciplined and disproportionately referred to Special Education. The outcomes have been academic under-performance, the “school to prison pipeline”, and the continued economic and political disenfranchisement of a significant portion of our nation’s people. It has been a tragic shame. It has been happening since the start and it is continuing. It is an ongoing emergency that urgently demands a response.

No one disputes this. Well, no informed and responsible person disputes it. This is not to say that other members of our community have not also suffered, but no one’s suffering negates anyone else’s. We are not here to negate or discount anyone else’s oppression or to determine relative suffering. That is a fruitless pursuit.

Following the occupation of the Horace Mann building the District formed a Task Force to discuss the various issues. At the meetings of this Task Force the District has acknowledged their failure, but they continue to refuse to directly and meaningfully address the problem. They have stonewalled the Africatown community. They have not indicated any willingness to change a single thing they are doing to improve outcomes for African-American students. Despite the fact that Seattle Public Schools has claimed that closing the academic achievement gap is their top priority for over a decade, the District has never made a plan to achieve that goal. And refuses to make such a plan now.

The District has proposed the creation of an Advisory Committee. It is unclear how this Advisory Committee will be any different from the previous Advisory Committees that have been convened over the past several years. All of those other Committees met, discussed, and made recommendations. Those recommendations were accepted with great fanfare and then immediately and persistently ignored. Advisory Committees are clearly not the path to improvement. Anyone who thinks that it will be different this time isn’t paying attention to history. There is no reason to believe that it will be different this time. None at all.

Here’s the funny thing. Everyone knows what needs to be done. It’s not a secret. It’s not a mystery. The solutions are well-documented. There are examples of success that can be duplicated here. There are the recommendations from the previous Task Forces and Advisory Committees that can still be implemented. The answers are known.

That’s where we are. It’s an abridged version, but all of the critical elements are there. Surely there is no one who is satisfied with this situation. Surely everyone is on the same side in this conflict. Get it? We’re not arguing among ourselves.

The tactic used by the Africatown community to lend urgency to the crisis has been the occupation of the Horace Mann building. Not everyone is happy with this tactic. Well, if you don’t like that tactic – and there is no need to tell us about how you don’t like it – then please, by all means, suggest something else that can be done to encourage the District leadership to promptly, directly, and meaningfully address the historic and continuing mis-education of African-American students.


Christmas Trees for P.E.A.C.E Available now!…Umoja PEACE Center Report to Community 2012

Dear friends and family,

As you finish off the leftovers and reflect on the increasingly precious moments spent with family and friends, we want to share with you the accomplishments of the Umoja PEACE Center family over the past year and invite you to let your Christmas tree purchase make a difference by supporting our Annual Holiday Trees for P.E.A.C.E. Fundraiser.

If you or someone you know plans to purchase a Christmas tree this year, you can support the work of the Umoja PEACE Center.

Trees are priced to fit YOUR budget so place your order today!

Even better, tell all your family, friends, church and other groups about this opportunity to continue being part of the change and let us know HOW MANY TREES should be set aside.

Trees are available for pick up at the center daily from 9am-9pm. The UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center is located at 1107 24th Avenue (@ Spring St.) in central Seattle. One block south of Union st behind the Post Office.

To place your order today, please call 206.329.1591 or 206.941.2527.

If you do not want a tree but would like to support by making a contribution please click here or mail your contribution to:

Umoja P.E.A.C.E. Center c/o Shunpike
PO Box 22328
Seattle, WA 98122

Please reference tax ID# 91-2138554 for your tax deductible contribution.

Thank you for your consideration and we hope that you can help us make the promise of change a reality.


UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center

2012 in review…

PEACE Week Seattle
Umoja PEACE Center started the year by launching the First Annual Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. County PEACEWeek in Seattle to counter the violence in our neighborhoods by encouraging youth and community members to take action to increase the peace instead.

The official Seattle MLK County PEACE Week Kick Off “A Vision 4 PEACE” was hosted at Seattle City Hall by the office of City Councilman Mike O’Brien featuring reception, youth panel & community speakers addressing whats needed to bring peace to our communities. See the video below


SHINE! Talent Competition seriesSHINE! Talent Competition flyer.
The SHINE Talent Competion series provides a stage for young aspiring artists to showcase their skills while promoting positive lifestyle choices to youth.

Winners from the talent competion received an artist development package. Check out song by SHINE! Talent competition winner Perilini Lomiga “Take Your Time” recorded at the UPC studio. http://soundcloud.com/antwon-vinson/take-your-time-mixed-mas.

Winners of the contest were also afforded an exclusive invite only audition with the NBC Show “The Voice” giving them an opportunity to take their talent to the world stage.

Seattle Hip Hop Leadership Conference
Produced in conjunction with the Seattle Hip Hop Summit Action Network and Seattle Central Community College Black Student Union, the 3rd Annual Hip Hop Leadership Conference was the best yet.

Over 150 people attended the event which brought out some of Seattle’s leading hip hop figures including Vitamin D, Jake One, Miss Casey Carter, Julie C, DJ Topspin, DJ Hyphen, Rawha Habte and many others to discuss the social and cultural impacts and potential of hip hop music and culture. Additionally this event inspired the development of Kenyan American Youth Association Roots Festival/Conference held in June at Highline Community College.

Umoja Fest was a success again in 2012 thanks to all of the community support.

We appreciate our community partners stepping up to make this years event a success including Starbucks, Catholic Community Services Village Spirit Center, UNCF, Powerful Schools and Ezells.Please thank these businesses and community organizations and let them know you appreciate them investing in our community.

Umoja Fest seeks to highlight and lift up all of the wonderful and beautiful things in our community so if you have something positive going on please do reach out and get connected with us.

Sunday Potluck Dinner
Every Sunday is Thanksgiving at the UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center! Join the UPC family for our weekly potluck dinner.

Find out whats happening around the UPC and community, enjoy great food, conversation and networking, be inspired by movers, shakers and changemakers.

Art In The Park
UPC partnered with Outside Thinc Agency and Seattle Parks Department to offer 8 week Art In The Park program at Othello Park in South Seattle. The program provided over 400 youth and families with summer arts education and enrichment activities in a much needed area.

Watch the video here:

UPC Studio &
Artist Development
The recording studio continues to be the main attraction at the UPC.

Aspiring young artists are assisted in developing recording and performing skills while learning about the business of music, careers in media and entrepreneurship.

Participants learn what it takes to develop their brand, use relevant technology, produce and promote eventget paid shows, network for success and more.

Click to listen to “Destined for Success” by A-Rawlo.

Summer Enrichment Academy
The UPC hosted a summer enrichment academy pilot for elementary and middle school aged youth featuring classes in math, music, entrepreneurship, language arts, astronomy, Arabic and Amaharic languages.

Sista Soul Speak
SistaSoulSpeak is a poetry and spoken word workshop focused on giving young women an opportunity to discover and share the beauty within and express themselves creatively through writing and performing poetry and spoken word.

Participants explore inspirational materials and then create their own. A great release and pick-me-up for young women who may be stressed from life issues. Participants will also have opportunities to perform and be introduced to other personal development resources.

Listen to the piece”Home” produced by Sista Soul Speak class http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKoZeq0O-Eg.

UPC GROW is a Community Youth and Family Urban Gardening Project focused on creating a learning space to share ideas on how to grow healthy and nutritious food, people and communities. The project was held for six Saturdays.

The 8 week winter cycle provided great opportunities for learning, bonding and community building. The project was led by Jamil Suleman and supported by SYVPI. Stay tunded for our winter garden potluck on coming soon.

Raise The Bar Fitness
Umoja PEACE Center continues to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles to youth and families through the Raise the Bar Fitness Initiative.

Through our partnership with the Garfield Teen Life Center, over 300 youth were engaged in fitness based personald development activities and group mentoring.

Raise The Bar is aligned with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

Bridging the Gap
The UPC Partnered with One Reel, Brandon Roy and Jamal Crawford Foundation to send over 250 youth and families to Bumpershoot.

We also became a partner with Seattle Theater Group Theater Access program to increase engagement with high quality arts production in Seattle.

Local to Global
UPC partnered with University of Washington Carlson Center to host international service learning interns from China and Iran. The opportunity provided valuable cultural exchange opportunities and learning opportunities for both the UW students and our high school interns.

We also partnered with the World Affairs Council of Seattleto host a delegation of leaders from North Africa and the Near East visiting as guests of the Department of State professional exchange program entitled “Youth Development: The Power of Music.” They were able to gather valuable insights from our experience using music and performing arts as medium for youth development.

New for 2013…

Seattle Symphony Collaboration
UPC is developing a new partnership with the Seattle Symphony to bring together young music producers and spoken word artists with Seattle Symphony Orchestra musicians to jointly create and perform original community compositions.

Plans for presentation of these performances include Seattle Symphony’s [untitled] series concert scheduled for April 26 at Benaroya Hall also at Umoja Fest 2013 as part of Seattle’s annual Seafair celebration.

Youth Arts, Technology & Enterprise Incubator
The mission of YouthArts, Technology & EnterpriseIncubator project is to coordinate culturally enriching activities using technology as a bridge to future opportunities.

The project will introduce youth to opportunities in Seattle’s Content Technology industries including content creators and distributors of film, music interactive media and gaming.This growing sector contributes over $7 billion in direct revenue annually to the Washington state and supports over 45,000 high wage jobs.

The center is in need of computers and Software Design Kits (SDKs) to begin mobile app development with young people in the central district.

We are working on partnerships with Seattle Interactive Conference, Seattle Music Commission and looking to connect with creative professionals and other stakeholders in the content technology industry.

2013 Events

PEACE Week 2013
January 14 – 21

SHINE Talent Competion

PEACE Week Edition
Saturday, January 21
Vera Project

4th Annual Hip Hop Leadership Conference
Saturday, February 23rd
Seattle Central CC

SHINE Talent Competion

Women’s History Month Edition (All female talent)
Saturday, March 23rd
Vera Project

UPC Live @ Seattle Symphony [untitled]
Friday, April 23rd
Benaroya Hall

SHINE Talent Competion

Black Music Month Edition (All covers)
“Saturday, June 8th
Vera Project

Umoja Fest 2013
August 2-4, 2013
Judkins Park – Seattle, WA

UPC Wish List…

Technology upgrade
Desktop computers

6 Mac Workstations (Mac OS Leopard or above)
10 PC Stations

Multimedia Software (Video & Production)

Adobe CS
Final Cut Pro
Software Development Kits
MS Office

Audio Recording Studio Upgrade

Mixing Board
Compressor (Avalon preferable)
Set Techniques 1200 Turntables (2)
Turntable Mixer (serrato)

Video Production upgrade

SD Memory Cards
External hard drives
Video Lighting Kit
Video Cameras
Viewing screen
Professionals (Cinematographers, Sound people, Writers, Directors, etc.)


Hot water heater installation
Plumbing Repairs (kitchen & bathroom)
Roof leak repair
Hauling Truck & Dump Run
Furnace Replacement w/ Installation
Gutters Cleaned
Portable Trailer Office/Classroom


Two phones
Printers (2)
Copy Machine
Computer Printer Repair Services
Network support
projector w/ stand & Screen
Black fold up chairs (40)
paper shredder (2)
Two executive chairs
Pen holders containers
clips and fasteners
Fabric—Black, White, Silver, Gold, Burgundy, Blue
15 Passenger Van


Rice Cooker/Vegetable Steamer combo
Serving Dishes/Utensils


Plant starts
Gardening Tools


Toilet paper
Paper towels
Paper utensils
Inkjet paper
Ink and toner

Ondo leads the way in mother and baby care

The establishment of Mother and Child Hospital in Akure, the Ondo state capital is revolutionising the delivery of babies in the state. Launched in 2010, the 100-bed hospital is an integral part of the state’s Abiye (Safe Motherhood) project. So far the hospital has treated over 26, 000 patients, delivered 5,879 babies over 900 of them through caesarian section.

The number of mothers who survive child birth has also increased. The Abiye project is the brain child of Olusegun Mimiko, medical doctor and governor of Ondo state.

Source: http://www.africatoday.com