race and equity | KUOW News and Information

race and equity

Patricia Lally was on the bus going downtown from her West Seattle home when a man began uttering racially offensive statements.

“And I found myself so surprised and wondering what should I do?” she said.


Support groups for new parents are popular in Seattle. Parents swap tips about when to introduce the bottle and empathize about new family dynamics.

But the mothers gathered in this light-filled Beacon Hill living room have a different mission: discussing how they want to raise their infants of color.


Jasmin Samy is th civil rights manager at CAIR-Washington State, a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. She says it's often difficult to get people to speak up when they think they're being discriminated against.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

When people of color try to rent housing in Seattle, they’re treated differently from white people.

Chris Porter
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

During his "State of the City" address, Seattle mayor Ed Murray announced a new initiative called Our Best. It focuses on improving the lives of young black men in the city.

Chris Porter is part of the African American Male Advisory Committee for Seattle Public Schools. Kim Malcolm talks to him about his thoughts on the announcement.

Caption by photographer Dorothea Lange: Ester Naite, an office worker from Los Angeles, operates an electric iron in her quarters at Manzanar, California, a War Relocation Authority center where evacuees of Japanese ancestry will spend the duration.
Dorothea Lange/Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

It’s not often that we look back on ugly times in our nation’s history. We’re not very good at that as Americans.

But the Japanese internment has been coming up a lot lately.

Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant of the Seattle Police Department.
City of Seattle

Perry Tarrant wants young African Americans to know their rights in interactions with police.

But Tarrant, assistant chief at the Seattle Police Department, told KUOW’s Emily Fox that just as important is knowing what to do if you think you’ve been wronged by the police.


Drego Little teaches humanities at Seattle University, and literature at Rainier Scholars, a college prep program for low-income students of color.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Drego Little teaches literature at Rainier Scholars, a college prep program for low-income students of color, and humanities at Matteo Ricci College at Seattle University.

Little told KUOW's Ann Dornfeld that he sees literacy as the key to success in school — and in life — for disadvantaged students.

Seattle & King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

Emily Fox speaks with Dr. Jeff Duchin, public health officer for Public Health-Seattle and King County, about how ending the Affordable Care Act will impact people of color.

Marchers walk through Seattle's Central Area on the 2015 anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

When Reverend David Billings started giving anti-racism trainings in the 1980s, he said many people "just didn't see it." But he said that's not the case today.

While structural and cultural racism remains entrenched in the U.S., Billings see a growing awareness by whites of their privilege and their role in combating the problem.  

Below are four of his main talking points. 


The lobby at the King County juvenile detention center lacks privacy, jail workers say.
KUOW Photo/Natalie Newcomb

Some city and King County leaders are calling for a reappraisal of construction of a new youth jail in Seattle. But they're getting pushback.

County Executive Dow Constantine said there’s still a need to rebuild the current jail, but he says the county should adopt a goal of “zero youth detention.”

"It is the long goal and I’m going to ask the county family, not just the council, but the justice system to adopt that as our goal,” he said.

Carl Livingston, a professor at Seattle Central College and a pastor at Kingdom Christian Center in Federal Way.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

Carl Livingston sees the troubles facing African American churches in Seattle as a test.

Livingston told KUOW’s Kim Malcolm that as the city has grown more expensive, congregations are surviving in part by cutting costs and seeking innovative ways to find income.


Seattle Times writer Tyrone Beason has an essay about race in the Pacific Northwest Magazine.
KUOW photo/Katherine Banwell

When Tyrone Beason called his father after Donald Trump was elected, the conversation didn’t start in the turmoil of the present.

“He started to talk about segregation, those ugly times in his formative years that shaped his understanding not only of what it was to be black but what it was to be white,” Beason told KUOW’s Jamala Henderson. 


Courtesy of Juanita Ricks

When Juanita Ricks’ biracial daughter Alexandra tested into the highly gifted program, Ricks, who is black, and her then-husband, who is white, toured the school Alexandra would attend: Washington Middle School in the Central District.


KUOW photo/Liz Jones

The handover of presidential power makes us  wonder how the new administration will affect our lives.

That's especially true for young people.

  


Ijeoma Oluo
Courtesy of Ijeoma Oluo

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle-based writer Ijeoma Oluo about why she's not attending or speaking at the Womxn's March in Seattle Friday. 

A panel at Garfield High School on Monday discusses the NAACP's proposal to require ethnic studies.
Jamala Henderson

Seattle’s NAACP chapter and some Seattle educators want ethnic studies to become required learning in the city's public schools.

On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, teachers, students and parents crowded into a medium-sized Garfield High School classroom to hear speakers talk about the proposal.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Twitter

If you’re a person of color in this country, every day you might encounter oppression that remains from systems set in motion hundreds of years ago.

The inequity that results affects everything from jobs to education to housing to health care. Given our history, what would it take to really bring racial equity?


Seattle's Blue Ridge neighborhood was developed by William and Bertha Boeing through a federal loan guarantee that required homes be sold and occupied only by white people.
Courtesy of Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project

Seattle's neighborhoods and suburbs have long been segregated by race.

Quinton Morris, violin professor.
Courtesy of Quinton Morris

Quinton Morris is a violin virtuoso who wants to give back. The Seattle University teacher grew up in Renton and fondly remembers the support he got from the community. He says that encouragement is important for people of color who want to be classical musicians. Morris told Jamala Henderson how he was often discouraged.  

Dr. Pedro Noguera, educator and sociologist
gseis.ucla.edu

Dr. Pedro Noguera is a UCLA sociologist and an expert in urban education. He was in Seattle Tuesday night to speak about the ways educators and administrators can improve student achievement and get them more engaged in school. He told Patricia Murphy many Seattle-area suburban schools are struggling with that balance, but many are doing it right. 

Educator Jasen Frelot
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Many white parents have difficulty finding the right words to use when talking to their kids about racism. Preschool director Jasen Frelot runs workshops for white parents. He starts by telling those parents to sit with their discomfort.

Professor Ralina Joseph at the University of Washington says to just start talking about race.
University of Washington

Why is race so hard to discuss? Ralina Joseph, founding director of the University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity, talked about coded racial language, from Seattle liberals to Trump. This is a transcript from her interview, lightly edited for clarity.


KUOW general manager Caryn Mathes
KUOW Photo

Journalism is so white.

That’s a criticism of newsrooms in America, and the numbers show that it’s true: In radio, just 9.4 percent of journalists are people of color.

Rally organizers handed out signs declaring Washington a 'hate-free state.'
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Washington elected officials who came out to denounce racism and hate found themselves in a verbal match against protesters.

What started as a show of support for members of a Redmond mosque was disrupted by residents opposing a proposed juvenile detention center in Seattle.


Musician Adra Boo is sticking it out in Seattle, but Jennifer Peterson has decided to leave the city for Mexico.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke speaks with Jennifer Peterson and Adra Boo, two women of color, about Peterson's decision to leave Seattle (and the United States) and Boo's decision to stay. 

Iesha Gray, 20, resigned from her job at the U.S. Postal Service because she felt she wasn't given time or space she found acceptable to pump.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Iesha Gray called it the drought.

One month back from maternity leave, her breasts were empty. No more milk. Her baby girl at home was drinking her way through the freezer stash.

Judge Judith Hightower, far left, is retiring after 25 years at Seattle Municipal Court.
Seattle.gov

The woman had been booked into King County Jail for driving with a suspended license.

When she appeared between Judge Judith Hightower, she asked her to be released because she had to get home in time for her 10-year-old boy.


Jennifer Henderson, a Seattle mental health counselor whose grandfather was killed by police outside of Ferguson in 1925. Trauma can be passed down through generations, she says.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

In downtown Seattle, therapist Robert Gant heard from a father who felt hopeless.

The man had told his sons, ages 12 and 9, that they should obey police. “Whatever, Dad,” the boys said. “They’ll still shoot you.”


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