A Statement from the West Hill Community Association Board of Directors
During this time of deep pain, suffering, loss, and violence that result from entrenched structural racism that pervades every system and facet of our society–including right here–West Hill Community Association (WHCA) is writing today to say that Black Lives Matter. In grief, anger, and solidarity, WHCA stands with our Black neighbors here and across the country.
It is well past time that WHCA publicly names this thing that negatively impacts our community so directly. The longstanding lack of services, support, and resources in Skyway is due to systemic racism. Despite the community’s significant, multiple efforts to advocate for what it needs and deserves, Skyway continues to lack sufficient access to transportation, economic opportunity, food and other basic needs, health and human services, places to come together as a community, education, and more.
WHCA acknowledges this systemic racism and deep inequity. WHCA acknowledges that in our organization’s three decades of history, our ways of thinking and acting have at times been harmful, inequitable, and exclusionary and have contributed to the systemic racism that plagues our community today. Today, our board members are individually committed to learning and working to undo racism in all its forms–within ourselves, in Skyway, and beyond. But to date, we have yet to express that we are committed to equity and social justice clearly, publicly, and unequivocally as an organization.
We are at a turning point in our organization. Today we publicly recommit ourselves to prioritize equity and social justice in Skyway, and to work with and center the voices and priorities of residents who have been underserved, underrepresented, and unheard–especially the voices and priorities of our Black neighbors. We will be working in the days and months ahead to put concrete action to this commitment. We will revisit and analyze our identity and purpose as an organization and realign our work so that everything we do advances equity and social justice in Skyway. We cannot do it alone. We invite you to hold us accountable. We invite you to join us.
To those who want to take action, in addition to the work you may already be doing to support the movement for Black Lives Matter, consider donating to organizations working on the front lines to address racism and injustice in Skyway and our region. Here are some ideas:
Cierra Sisters’ mission is to break the cycle of fear and increase knowledge concerning breast cancer in the African-American and underserved communities.
Urban Family’s mission is to build a web of care and support around marginalized urban youth and families by providing positive youth development, family support and neighborhood safety.
Renton Innovation Zone Partnership (RIZP)
RIZP’s mission is to lead a relationship-based, data-informed collaborative network to advance racial equity and create healthy learning opportunities for all children throughout the Renton Innovation Zone (which includes Lakeridge, Bryn Mawr, and Campbell Hill Elementary Schools).
Women United Seattle
Women United is most known for bringing families together with services, programs and activities hosted by Angel of Hope Play Place & Engagement Center, Grandma’s Hands, Pepper Pot Kinship Support Group, Hope’s Closet, Threads of Change Kinship Sewing Classes, Love Train Play Street, and Women United Backyard Socials.
Somali Parents Education Board (SPEB)
SPEB’s vision is to inspire Somali parents to become leaders and strong advocates for themselves and their children’s education by providing them with the resources and the support they need.
Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County
The core activists and organizers of BLM Seattle-King County is a group of Black and other people of color focused on dismantling anti-black systems and policies of oppression.
Rainier Valley Corps (RVC)
RVC promotes social justice by cultivating leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.
You Grow Girl!
You Grow Girl! is rooted in the deep belief that girls from chronically under-resourced populations, especially girls of color, must be accepted for their authentic selves and supported by a community of true allies that amplifies gender, economic, and racial justice.