This past Saturday, May 12th marked the fourth event in DNDA’s Let’s Talk Race Series: American Housing and Economics. The workshop began as guests followed a timeline of United States history around the room and were then led through a brief account of American history and how racial hierarchy has impacted our economic system. Participants engaged in an opening table activity answering questions such as “What was happening at the point in history when your ancestors came to America?” and “Were your parents and grandparents able to purchase a home?” The adult facilitator, Regent Brown, and the two young facilitators, Namaka Auwae-Dekker and Carla Ferrazzi, then welcomed everyone to “an opportunity for collective wisdom” and went over the community agreements for the day.
The workshop continued with two concentric circles about our personal experience with housing, each pair of guests would talk for a minute before switching partners. The intimate space allowed guests to discuss as a larger group and express their personal experience by answering questions such as, “How do you define community?” and “What is your ideal home?” After a short break, participants gathered in one large circle and took a turn answering the question, “What options do you feel we have for inclusive housing?” the starting point being that housing is a basic human right. The workshop concluded with a free community dinner and reflection on the day’s conversations.
DNDA would like to give thanks to our sponsor; the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and to our partners for this event; Young Women Empowered, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle for Everyone, Reel Grrls, and the West Seattle Timebank. Special thanks to all of our volunteers who made the day possible, and to our community in their efforts to strengthen ties in the community, and work towards building an equitable housing environment for all.