by Yes Segura, WSOS work group member
In January of this year, Whose Streets? Our Streets! (WSOS) leaders were invited to sit on the Strategies for Community Healing panel, hosted by the Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition, as part of the 39th Annual Seattle MLK Jr. Day celebration.
As a team, we have been focusing our efforts on primarily organizing with local Black-led organizations, so this MLK Jr Day event was a perfect opportunity to do so. The virtual panel on community solutions included emerging Black-led organizations, who use their activism and innovative efforts to create new paradigms for BIPOC communities, especially Black communities, to thrive in Seattle.
Each presentation peeled back a layer of intersectionality, demonstrating what can be accomplished when we center the wellness of Black lives in agriculture, land ownership, and the public use of space. Sharing our ideas, efforts, and stories keeps us inspired. The theme of Strategies for Community Healing highlighted our community resilience. Let us never forget that advocating for social and racial justice requires a balance between resilience and healing. Black History Month is a time for celebration and honoring those that have walked this path before us. Looking to the past but constantly striving for the progress ahead.
Over this past year, issues of white supremacy, racism, and police brutality have been at the forefront of all headlines. WSOS is tackling these issues and how they impact BIPOC communities and our rights to mobility. Our public spaces should reflect the people that live, play, and work in them. The shift in our collective awareness is only the beginning. It is our actions that will lay the foundation for a better Seattle for all.
It was a privilege to launch our recommendations for changes to traffic enforcement laws and policies among such an esteemed group of people, and we are grateful that we can gather virtually during these times of change.
WSOS will continue to seek solutions that prioritize the safety, rights, and lives of BIPOC communities in public spaces. We invite you to imagine what Seattle could look like if we prioritized people over places.
You can view our presentation and or recording from the event below [find the WSOS presentation by Phyllis Porter and Peaches Thomas at 1:00:35 at the YouTube link below].