We are mourning and grieving along with many, feeling profoundly shaken by the needless loss of Black and brown lives at the hands of police.
This is not new. The killing of George Floyd, and so many others, is what lynching looks like today. The concept of race was created to divide us, and to build inequities into our rule of law, educational systems, and financial institutions. “Whiteness” as a concept was created to suppress black voters when the term Christian was no longer sufficient.
We worked with community to address historical context of race and whiteness in our Let’s Talk Race series in 2018.
DNDA continues on the path of dismantling structural, institutional, and individual racism. It is a long road, because we have a long history of racist oppression in America, in our actions and policies, our police, criminal justice, educational systems, and more. Whenever we prioritize money and property over people, we are complicit. We can all do better, and we are here ready to work with you to promote Black lives, Black joy, and creative collaborations across race and over all divisions. In the collective spirit of all the work done at Youngstown and DNDA, we demand a community, nation and future where Black youth thrive and lead.
Celebrants at DNDA’s event 'For Charleena', honoring the life of Charleena Lyles, who was killed by Seattle police on her doorstep in 2017.
It’s up to us as an organization, and each of us as individuals to do our own healing work, to look at how we have contributed to the oppression of others, how we can hold ourselves accountable, and how we hold those in power accountable to the communities they represent and serve.
Right now, we must reevaluate and rebuild our systems, our policies, and how we interact with one another in our communities.
There are many worthy organizations deserving of support, so we hope you’ll research and support local organizations that most resonate with you. We are here to continue amplifying voices of justice and healing. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch.
Many people and organizations are promoting donations to the following causes:
- Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County: https://blacklivesseattle.org/donate/
- NW Community Bail Fund: https://www.nwcombailfund.org/
- ACLU of Washington: https://aclu-wa.org/
- Seattle and King County NAACP: https://www.seattlekingcountynaacp.org/
For additional resources, here are a few articles that speak to some of the issues at hand and point onwards to more resources.
This article by Denise Herd from the Othering and Belonging Institute at Berkeley shares a succinct perspective about the present moment and context in history, as well as links to more resources.
The Obama Foundation has some great links to other articles and organizations.
This article in the South Seattle Emerald clarifies the stance of our local Black Lives Matter chapter in relation to recent protests, and includes a list of demands from BLM-Seattle to the City of Seattle.
Stay safe, stay active.
DNDA collaborates with local creatives and organizers to develop projects that engage young and diverse communities. Many of these programs are held at DNDA's historic Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, which houses an alternative high school, nonprofit offices, affordable room rental rates, and 36 affordable live-work spaces for artists of all disciplines.
DNDA also supports integrative art programming through the EcoArts Program and the Arts In Nature Festival.
DNDA is committed to restoring, preserving, and protecting our natural habitat by developing community stewards.
Our Urban Forest Restoration Program engages volunteers to work at 8 Seattle parks in West Seattle, and the Delridge Wetland Park expands local permaculture while providing a children's teaching garden for youth environmental science lessons.
DNDA provides affordable housing for local artists and low-income families at 7 properties in the Delridge corridor. All of our housing options are less expensive than for-profit buildings so that families with lower incomes can always live in Delridge.
Our 2018 Let's Talk Race Series challenged institutional racism and foster a culture of belonging and respect by connecting community organizations and individuals through film, dialogue, storytelling and restorative justice.