Nationally recognized educator Dr. Wanda Billingsly has been tapped to lead First Place School, a Seattle nonprofit operating an early learning center, a private primary school, and a housing program in the Central District. Billingsly took the helm April 11, 2016 as interim director and was confirmed as
Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director by the First Place Board of Directors on Tuesday, July 12th. “I’m delighted to join the First Place Family,” said Billingsly. “Our faculty, staff, board, and families are dedicated to delivering rigorous, culturally responsive education and ‘total’ child preparation.
We’re united in our commitment to student success and at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.” During her 30-year career, Billingsly has served as a classroom teacher, principal, district administrator, college lecturer, and associate college dean. She was recognized as a Distinguished P-12 Educator assist- ing the UW College of Education in its reform efforts to better train future teachers. Billingsly served 18 years in Renton School District where she excelled as a gap-closing principal in a high-needs school. Prior to joining First Place, Dr. Billingsly held senior administrative posts in Tukwila Public Schools, Federal Way Public Schools, and Seattle Public Schools. In each role, she focused on equitably meeting the needs of students who struggle in traditional classroom settings, including low-income students of all races, and students of color. Billingsly holds a Washington State Superintendent Certification, a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from City University in Seattle, a Master’s in Education from Heritage University in Toppenish, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Seattle University. As a highly sought speaker both locally and nationally, she has been featured in the Renton Reporter, King County Journal, and Colors NW Magazine. Since 2010, Billingsly also has served as the African American Community representative to the Washington State Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee formed by the Legislature in 2009.
Summer Opportunity Fund Awards $75,000 to Five Community Projects Focused on Young Men of Color
07/11/2016 by Sam Read
Summer Opportunity FundThe City of Seattle has announced the awards for the Summer Opportunity Fund, a $75,000 fund created to support community-based projects that address and help reduce violence against young adults. The fund was open to community organizations, groups, and businesses to apply.
To be considered, projects needed to focus on education, employment, justice, violence prevention, health, or a combination of these topics. The City also sought community-based ideas and projects that leveraged other resources such as community partnerships, in-kind donations, and existing resources and services.
The awarded organizations and projects are:
$15,000 to 180 Program to provide peer training and leadership development for young men of color focused on healing circles, peacemaking, and a UW lecture and campus tour, along with mentoring, job placement and social services connections.
$14,985 to Multi-Communities for the Men’s Circle Journey Project, a facilitated support group for East African and African American men to foster and enhance emotional intelligence, increase self-esteem and respect, provide a safe place to talk, learn and heal, and foster authenticity in actions.
$14,995 to Somali Family Task Force for a three-month program designed to promote and empower 18-24-year-old East African young men’s healthy development and transition through emerging adulthood by providing mentoring/mentorship, educational preparedness, and job readiness skills building.
$15,000 to Guiding Academic Motivation for Excellence for a leadership development, empowerment, and community awareness project for 15 East African and African American males to include a walk-a-thon/community march, a community education rally and cookout, and a youth talent and fashion show produced by the participants.
$15,000 to Brothers United in Leadership Development to host BUILD the Hood events that highlight culture, healthy lifestyles, and environmental and social activities, and a resource fair for young black men and their families; in addition to a barbershop series to bring issues around education, justice, employment, and health to cultivate inter-generational relationships.
All projects will begin this summer and will be completed this fall. The Summer Opportunity Fund is funded by the Seattle Human Services Department and administered by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.
Rainier Beach Arts & Music (BAAM) Fest “Our Story” Tells It Like It Is Saturday, July 23rd
Culturally Inclusive Spoken Word, Storytelling, Visual Art, Dance, & Music Take Center Stage
Our story in Rainier Valley is one of deep cultural and social complexity, of powerful youth, talent, and heartbreaking beauty. No one can tell that story better than we can during Rainier Beach Arts and Music (BAAM) Fest Saturday, July 23rd, activating the Rainier Beach Community Center Plaza (8825 Rainier Ave S.) from 11 am – 7 pm.
Presented by the Rainier Beach Merchants Association and Vulcan Inc, BAAMFest is a FREE cultural arts extravaganza celebrating one of the most culturally, economically, and socially diverse communities in the United States, through spoken word, cultural dance, live music, visual arts, and storytelling. More information at www.rainierbaamfest.com.
By RoQuesia Williams, a parent of a founding student at Summit Olympus in Tacoma
I’d considered a few options from homeschool to the local public school to find the right educational choice in Tacoma for my son. Nothing was the right fit, until I found Summit Olympus. His transition from middle to high school has been smooth and successful. He wants to be at Olympus and receives the supports he needs to put him on the pathway to graduate high school ready to succeed in college.
At Summit Olympus my son has a personalized learning plan, where he works at his own pace and learns the material with greater depth. His teachers help him if he has fallen behind and encourage him to reach his potential. He also has a mentor that follows him throughout his four years at Olympus. The Summit faculty truly make me feel like a partner in my son’s education. They contact me on a weekly basis and let me know his progress and what I can do to help.
If you’re looking for a school that’s the right fit for your child, I hope you will learn more about Olympus. The faculty and community will welcome you with open arms. They will do all they can to help your child be prepared for and succeed in college and be a contributing member of society.
Enrollment is open now at Summit Olympus for the 2016-2017 school year, but spaces are limited. To enroll, visit www.summitps.org/enroll
Bellevue Arts Museum is excited to host Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair from May 20-August 14, 2016. Did you see the fair in the Pacific Northwest? Share your Fashion Fair memories with us!
By sourcing your personal memories and presenting them in the museum alongside the exhibition, BAM pays homage to the remarkable legacy of the Ebony Fashion Fair in the Pacific Northwest. Its impact on an individual and community scale is a testament to the vision and determination of Eunice W. Johnson, publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines.
Please email your stories & photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your materials to the Museum (Any photograph sent to BAM will be scanned and returned in a timely fashion):
Attention: Lucile Chich
Bellevue Arts Museum
510 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
We look forward to learning more about the Ebony Fashion Fair through your eyes.
To everyone who has supported us following the death of Che’ Andre Taylor, we would like to express our sincere thanks and deep appreciation. Your many acts of kindness and sympathy continue to be a great comfort to us in our time of sorrow.
We had the honor of generously receiving delicious food, lovely flowers, cards, financial support, emails and wonderful posts shared on social media. We want to appreciate those who are standing with our family in solidarity to seek justice for Che’ Taylor and acknowledge those have joined the NOT THIS TIME movement against police violence. Che’ touched the lives of so many people and will be forever missed. We know that Che’ will live in the hearts of all who shared their grief with us through this difficult time.
The family of Che’ Taylor
By : ALICIA TAYLOR –
In the wake of yet another shooting death of a Black Man by Police officers, many of us find ourselves disgusted and outraged! Although, our outrage and disgust is warranted at what we are forced to witness day in and day out in regards to what appears to be a witch hunt for our Black Men and Boys, that is not the topic that I have chosen for this piece. “ALL LIVES MATTER” is what the media and the rest of America, begin to say instead of the original declaration coined by African American Activists and Protesters that were led to action after the senseless deaths, homicides, and injustices of unarmed Black Boys and Men in America at the hands of White men, and Police Officers. Their explanation and reasoning for basically subverting the Black Lives Movement was that, “ALL LIVES MATTERED, NOT JUST BLACK LIVES” and that although they understood and were just as outraged by what has taken place ALL LIVES MATTER, and NOT JUST BLACK LIVES. As if to imply equality and overall general care, concern, and compassion for every man, not just the men of your own race. And all of that sounded great! Many, that have a heart to see peace and unity, although torn and outraged by what we are experiencing, we too want to see peace and unity. Therefore, many shifted from the Black Lives Matter movement over to the ALL LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT in heart. Meaning that we didn’t allow our emotions to override our actions, realizing that at the end of the day, nobody deserves to be gunned down like a dog in the streets, right? I mean really, I need to understand this?
The very same people that were declaring in agreement that ALL LIVES MATTER, and chose to use that phrase in the media instead of the original declaration BLACK LIVES MATTER, don’t have an issue with describing a dead man as a felon, before you even find out his first name? I don’t care who you are or what you do whether it be job or personal, we all have a level of accountability to the truth and righteousness in this world. Especially those of us that have been blessed with the gift of influence whether it be on our jobs or personally, whether you are a journalist or a school teacher, you have a responsibility and an obligation to integrity and unity, and keeping the bond of peace amongst your fellow man. However, many have chosen to use their gift of influence to stir an already seething pot! We are not denying nor are we minimizing the fact that Che Taylor had been previously charged, convicted, and spent 25yrs in prison for several felonies, however, I refuse to refer to Mr. Taylor as “THE FELON”, or even A FELON” for that matter, being convicted of several felonies was a part of His past, but BEFORE he committed those felonies, he was a son, a man, another human being, a fellow citizen, and so many other things before he was ever convicted of a felony in Washington State or abroad. So, why would anyone’s description of him be a felon, and if it is someone in the position of the media, which is a pivotal point of influence for the community, and world that we live in. What is the agenda and motive for anyone that slanders someone’s name and defames their character to complete strangers? Not just any someone, but especially a deceased man? Every news outlet that I turned on to find out information on the incident continued to identify Mr. Taylor, as the FELON. Every social news MEDIA site that was his name in their articles as well, Mr. Taylor is referred to as the FELON.
This is an outrage! Not just to those that love and care for Mr. Taylor, but it should be for every single American in the US. You don’t do something for nothing, meaning there is a method to a person’s madness when they take this approach. That of defaming and individual before even, the listeners even know the full details of the incident. It is to desensitize, dehumanize, and minimize the impact of those of us on the outside looking, on the inhumane senseless act that has just occurred. By describing an individual by their actions, especially by their untowardly frowned upon by society actions, is to stack the deck, right? manipulate and control the emotions of the hearer. It’s to say that because Mr. Taylor had committed, and been convicted of felony crimes, he deserved to be dead, right? It is to say that because Mr. Taylor was convicted of a several felonies, and served his time for those felonies, might I add25yrs! It’s to say that his mother, and his family does not deserve the compassion, care and concern that the mother, and family of a NON-FELON does, right? Basically, it is to say that, ALL LIVES MATTERS, except FELONS, right? It is to say it was justified, before even knowing the details, right? America what have we become? It is a sad day when those that took an oath to report the truth, have begun to be the biggest catalyst for the lie? What if this was your son, or brother that had been killed, and before the news reported his name, and the details of the incident, or before expressing their condolences for the loss of another human being, they said “The homosexual was murdered, or the child molester, or the drunk, or the rapist, transgender, or the liar, or the prostitute, or the addict, or the thief, and the list goes on, before they reported the full story, before the family was notified, before the verdict was in the have already found them guilty. Guilty of being a worthless member of society, not even worthy of a “that’s so sad” from their fellow man, because of the things that they had done in the past? What if it was you?
Yes, ALL LIVES DO MATTER, however that is more than just a catchy declaration used by White America to subvert the BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT, it is the motto that our Country was framed upon. ALL LIVES MATTER, One Nation Under God Indivisible with LIBERTY and JUSTICE FOR ALL. We all have a duty and to uphold this pledged allegiance to one another! Injustice and hypocrisy are running rampant, and the moral fabric of this country is eroding more and more each day. It is a sad day in America when another one of our own is gunned down in the street, and we rejoice instead of weep! America is now a melting pot of all kinds of different races, religions, nationalities, and belief systems; that’s what makes it America, and though there are many differences between us, there is only ONE God above us, and HE IS THE ONE that they had in mind when they penned those Words to the Constitution that we all are required to adhere to, and TO HIM ALONE we will all give and account on Judgment day for our deeds done in this body, be they good or bad, and AN ACCOUNT of every IDLE (dead, inoperable) word that we have rolled off of our lips be it in work or play.
In closing, we all should ponder this: if the media and officers don’t have an issue with Mr. Taylor being identified and described as THE FELON, I gather the will be no issues with the officers being identified and described as THE KILLERS? I offer my deepest, and warmest heartfelt condolences to CHE Taylor’s family and loved ones, and MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Let’s get this out before you all start blaming me about throwing shade and what not. After watching the NBA All Star game and the Super bowl it occurred to me how lucky we are in these parts when it comes to our sports heroes. And you know that is what we have here in the Northwest. We have been blessed to watch and be around some of the most amazing individuals who happened to be athletes.
The recent passing of Seattle legends John Johnson and Dave Henderson took me down the nostalgic path and a quick left turn reminded how lucky I was to have known these great individuals not from an athletic perspective but rather a humanitarian interaction. Both where great individuals who were not gods by any stretch of the imagination but good and decent men who tried to make the world a better in their own way.
So we at The Facts Newspaper wanted to take a moment to honor these great individuals and in the process remember to honor some of the living legends. Warren Moon, Lorenzo Romar and our own Dave Mann.The former Seattle Rainiers outfielder played for 16 minor league teams in 12 cities and three countries.
Dave Mann’s long and illustrious started in 1952 with the Stockton Ports of the California League after a St. Louis Browns scout signed him to a baseball contract for $8,000.
Six years later, Dave was invited to spring training with the Cleveland Indians and was given his best chance at making a big league roster, but couldn’t dislodge Roger Maris, Rocky Colavito or Minnie Minosa in the outfield. Opportunities were fleeting, especially in terms of race.
Dave Mann broke bread and had conversation with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and of course his old roommate Satchel Paige.
“Back in those days the black athletes hung together and everyone knew each other,” Dave told me at halftime during a Seahawks game.” Those were different then and you did what you had to do to survive.”
To say Dave Mann mere survived all these years, would be rude and downright disrespectful. What made the aforementioned names amazing individuals is not what they did, hard work, faith belief but how they did it. With class, humility and a belief that hard work coupled with integrity and humility and a sprinkle of love makes for a wonderful life.