race and equity | KUOW News and Information

race and equity

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Deputy Executive Rhonda Berry at a press conference announcing the intent to move youth detention oversight to Public Health Seattle King County.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

King County Executive Dow Constantine is making a change he says will help the county with its effort to dramatically reduce the practice of detaining young people arrested for crimes.

Constantine signed an executive order Thursday moving oversight of youth detention to Public Health Seattle King County.

Claudia Pineda, right, interprets for a woman who suffered domestic abuse from her 13-year-old son.
KUOW photo/Patricia Murphy

Vicky used to hide the knives in her home, but not because of the ex-husband who she says was abusive.

She was being beaten by her 13-year-old son.

The list of racist place names in Washington is long, but the state is slowly getting rid of them.

The latest is a “Squaw Creek” southwest of the town of Methow in Eastern Washington.

Damon Bomar, owner/operator of That Brown Girl Cooks!
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

We don't need statistics to see that Seattle is growing at an unprecedented rate. One neighborhood where the change is most noticeable is the Central District.


Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Washington.
GoogleMaps

A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a group of four young people currently being detained at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

The teens are charged as adults.

Turunesh Gura, 78, takes a break from working on Friday, October 13, 2017, at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Turunesh Gura, 78, piled blackberry bushes into a wheelbarrow.

She was a farmer with her husband back in Ethiopia. Now an urban farm in south Seattle is helping her and other East African seniors find community in a new land.


Matthew and Mariah Hicks attend Lowell Elementary School in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, where they are just two of the school's many homeless students.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Lowell Elementary School sits across from million-dollar houses on a quiet street in Capitol Hill. But this school serves some of the poorest children in the city.

A scene from a simulation by the Washington State Department of Transportation of what could happen if a massive earthquake hits the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
YouTube/WSDOT

Hundreds of old brick buildings in Seattle are at risk of collapsing during a major earthquake – that’s clear.

Also clear: These structures are often in neighborhoods with high risk for displacement – affecting people of color and low-income households.

Dr. Lois James, Assistant Professor at Washington State University
Courtesy of Washington State University/Cori Medeiros

After a white police officer killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, there were months of protest across the country, including Seattle. New attention focused on how the police interact with black people.

Now, police departments are considering whether special training can help their officers overcome their own biases.

Ijeoma Oluo: 'I am drowning in whiteness'

Oct 1, 2017
Seattle writer Ijeoma Oluo
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Hi, I am Ijeoma Oluo, and I am a mixed race black woman who was raised by a white mother in this very white city.

I have a Ph.D. in whiteness, and I was raised in "Seattle nice." I was steeped in the good intentions of this city and I hate it.

I love this city. I love you guys. Also, I hate it. I really do.


KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

Many white Americans believe that black Americans earn close to what their own families make. The truth is far different.

Blacks, on average, earn half of what whites do in this country.

You don’t know Seattle until you see these gritty scenes

Sep 27, 2017
Along with houses of prostitution, First Avenue became home to arcades with coin-operated machines to watch racy moving pictures.
'First Avenue, Seattle' exhibit. Photo by Nancy Walz. ©Pike Place Market PDA 1981.

If you check into most hotels on First Avenue tonight, it'll run you at least $400. Not so in 1981, when low-income people found affordable rooms up and down "Skid Road" in single-room-occupancy hotels — for a night, or for the rest of their lives.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is criticizing President Donald Trump for comments on NFL players who protest during the national anthem.

Sara Jacobsen, left, never gave much thought to the Chilkat robe hanging over her dining room table. Until she took a class in high school, when she saw another robe that looked eerily similar to the one at home.
Courtesy of Sara Jacobsen

Sara Jacobsen, 19, grew up eating family dinners beneath a stunning Native American robe.


Dr. Jonathan Kanter, associate psychology professor at the University of Washington
KUOW/Megan Farmer

Racism takes many forms — it could be a white supremacist rally or a racial slur — but more subtle forms, called microaggressions, happen every day.

Dr. Jonathan Kanter wanted to learn more about microaggressions from a white person's point of view. The associate psychology professor and his research team at the University of Washington found that people who are more likely to make subtle racist statements are also more racist in other ways.

He told KUOW's Emily Fox that the researchers began by asking black students what they thought were microaggressive behavior.


Turns out Siri might be racist

Sep 19, 2017
Siri on an iPhone.
Flickr Photo/Karlis Dambrans (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/njdYn7

We use speech recognition every day, like providing captions on video for the hard of hearing and voice-to-text apps on our smart phones. But when it comes to how well the software understands various accents or dialects, Caucasian speakers are understood much better than people of color. 

Former Mayor Ed Murray at a press conference in the University District in September 2016.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Let’s be clear. The mess that culminated in the resignation of Seattle’s ex-Mayor Ed Murray should not be celebrated as vindication that “the process works.”

White supremacy is behind America's original sin

Sep 14, 2017
Dr. Jim Wallis, author and social justice advocate
JP Keenan

Katherine Banwell of KUOW's Race and Equity team talks with author and social justice advocate Jim Wallis about white supremacy which features in his latest book, "America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America."

Wallis will speak about racial reconciliation at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at Seattle's McCaw Hall. 

Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle on Saturday.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

The Seattle Police Department says bias and hate crime reporting continues to rise in Seattle.


Tommy Le's family and attorneys announce their decision to file a $20 million wrongful death and civil rights violation lawsuit against King County, the King County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff John Urquhart.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The family of a 20-year-old Burien man shot dead by police in June is suing King County, the county Sheriff's Office and Sheriff John Urquhart alleging wrongful death and civil rights violations.

They're seeking $20 million in damages.


Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett talks to reporters, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Renton, Wash. The Seahawks will play the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football NFC playoff game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 in Atlanta (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett said he has retained an attorney after Las Vegas police assaulted him.

In an open letter on Twitter Wednesday morning, Bennett said he was ordered to the ground outside a casino and held at gunpoint by police after the Mayweather-McGregor fight on Aug. 26.

Kent schools act after Muslim staffers get hate mail

Aug 31, 2017

Hate mail sent to Muslim staffers at Kent schools prompted a response from the district this week as students returned to class.

This past weekend a Muslim woman who is an assistant principal at an elementary school received a hateful email.

Nobu Koch / Sealaska Heritage Institute

When Bruce Jacobsen moved to Seattle in 1986, he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. He wanted to express his appreciation with a piece of Native art, and found one at a gallery Pioneer Square: an antique Chilkat robe.

"I just thought it was so beautiful, and it was like nothing I had seen before," Jacobsen said.


Flickr photo / JoeinSouthernCA http://bit.ly/2wlFEJW

On the surface, the city of Seattle seems to celebrate diversity, but Seattle's Garfield High School tells a different story.

From the effects of historic housing discrimination, to the current academic tracking program that separates Advanced Placement from "regular" classes, and the drama department's production of a Latinx play with a non-Latinx cast, current and former students talk about how racism manifests at the school. 

Why more Native Americans are homeless in Seattle

Aug 18, 2017
Colleen Echohawk, executive director of the Chief Seattle Club.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

The number of Native Americans on King County streets is greater than ever. A recent survey found that there are more American Indians and Alaska Natives than a year ago.

Colleen Echohawk said there are many reasons for that, but the most important is that Natives are nervous about trusting the current system of finding houses for them.

Storme Webber's  'I Cover the Waterfront', a 1950s photograph of the artist's grandmother, 2016. Digital prints modified from original.
Courtesy of Frye Art Museum/Storme Webber

For much of the 20th century, Pioneer Square was the heart of Seattle’s gay community.

Artist Storme Webber grew up lesbian in Seattle and often went to Pioneer Square with her mother – who was also gay.


President Donald Trump talks with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg upon his arrival on Air Force One at Charleston International Airport in North Charleston, S.C., Friday, Feb. 17, 2017.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Update 11 a.m., 8/16/2017: Two more CEOs — from 3M and Campbell's Soup — quit President Donald Trump's manufacturing council Wednesday. Trump then announced he was disbanding the council entirely.

Co-director of HYPE, Charissa Eggleston, center, shows off a yogurt parfait that she made during the Federal Way Youth Action Team program HYPE, at the Federal Way Boys & Girls Club on Saturday, August 5, 2017, in Federal Way
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last summer, worried parents gathered at Federal Way City Hall. There had been an uptick in violence in the city -- including three gun deaths that May.

Most of the kids being referred to the courts were black. The chatter was that the city was ill-equipped to reach kids of color, and it was time for the community to step in.


Protesters sprayed Seattle Police with silly string moments before attempting to break the line. Seattle, August 13, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

A day after violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Virginia, tensions were high during two opposing protests in Seattle.


Dr. Sapna Cheryan, Psychology Professor at the University of Washington
Courtesy of Nikki Ritcher

People who are chubby or fat often experience prejudice. 

But a recent study out of the University of Washington found that for Asian Americans, being fat correlates with being viewed as belonging in the U.S. Dr. Sapna Cheryan is a psychology professor at the UW. She talked to Kim Malcolm about the study's results.  


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