Check Out These Black Community Building Collective Events
Two Thanksgiving meals are among several events happening this month courtesy of the Black Community Building Collective, a group of 15 Black-led organizations brought together by United Way of King County to build relationships and implement strategies that impact the Black community.
The Collective launched in 2020 and thus far has invested $4.5 million in local, Black-led organizations. Each organization is known for amplifying and addressing issues in King County’s Black communities, everything from basic needs to baseball. Throughout the year, the organizations stage events that bring neighborhoods together, and the holiday season is no exception.
On November 17, Community Passageways is hosting a fall giveaway at 4 p.m. at the junction of 23rd and Jackson streets in Seattle. Attendees will be eligible to receive a free, youth winter coat as well as a gift card.
Community Passageways is a Seattle-based felony diversion and prevention organization founded in 2017 and working toward zero youth incarceration. Community Passageways family support specialist Charmaine Madden said the fall giveaway will help families in need during tough economic times. “We wanted to help make the transition of seasons a little bit easier on families,” Madden said, “while taking the increased cost of groceries and gas into consideration.” For more information or to donate, click here.
Madden said Community Passageways will host a similar event in December.
On November 19, Collective member Glover Empower Mentoring will join Kent Parks & Recreation and the Kent School District in hosting the 8th Annual Thanksgiving Feast at the Kent Parks & Recreation Teen Center. The event is free and slated for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Glover Empower Mentoring director Kendrick Glover said that the feast is held in the spirit of giving and bring communities together, and he added, “We’re expecting over 500 people this year.”
It’s part of the year-round work of Glover Empower Mentoring, a community-based organization that offers mentoring and case management services to youth and young adults. Glover said that those interested in contributing to the Thanksgiving Feast can drop off dishes at the former Phoenix Academy (11000 SE 264th St.) in Kent. Homemade and store-bought foods will be accepted but must be labeled and brought cold, Glover said. For more information, or to sign up to donate a dish, contact: Brian Steward at BSteward@KentWA.gov or 253-856-5035.
On Thanksgiving Day, REACH Renton will host its Thanksgiving Meal from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Luther’s Table, a non-profit coffee shop and gathering space in Renton.
REACH (which stands for Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches) is a collection of faith and community groups in the Renton area that provide shelter, hot meals, clothing and supplies to marginalized communities. REACH says its Thanksgiving Meal is free to the public and all are welcome. Those who cannot make it to the Thanksgiving Meal but would still like to provide food for the community should contact REACH Renton here.
Africatown Community Land Trust has launched its From Imagination to Creation campaign to support the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation and Enterprise. Africatown’s goal is to raise $300,000 to build the makerspace and visual effects film studio at the WGC in order to teach youth ages 8-18 the skills of design and manufacture.
Africatown is a Seattle-based organization working for community ownership of land in the Central District that can support the cultural and economic thriving of Seattle’s African Diaspora. In September, Africatown opened the William Grose Center, which is named in honor of the Black pioneer who came to Seattle around 1860, bought 12 acres in Madison Valley and established what is now known as the Central District.
Africatown says funds for the campaign will help hire full-time instructors, purchase technology for the film studio and launch classes for the next two years. For more information, contact Evan Poncelet at WGC@africatownlandtrust.
United Way thanks the Seattle-based financial firm? Brighton Jones for its support of the Black Community Collective and the Indigenous Communities Fund, an initiative launched in 2020 to address the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the county’s Indigenous people.