We’re in the thick of summer and in the midst of celebrating recent graduates, award winners, upcoming opportunities, and kicking off summer programs!
This month, RVC is excited to welcome two additional staff members! Read on to find out what else RVC has been up to, and make sure to check out the great work that our partner organizations are doing.
RVC’s Community Impact Fellows Graduated!
On July 18, our Community Impact Fellows graduated during a community celebration and dinner! The event, “The Brightest Stars,” took place at New Holly Gathering Hall. We heard from our community-based organization (CBO) partners on the impact RVC Fellows have made, we were graced with performances by CobbFrom38 and Ana Walker, and we all sang along with emcees Lourdez Velasco and SuYoung Yun in a rousing rendition of their song, “Nonprofit Unicornz.”
Our Community Impact Graduates are: Febben Fekadu, Jonathan Fikru, Rahel Gaguro, Hana Gregory, Jessica Hartman, Paul Laughlin, Osca Opoku, Denechia Powell, Miko Pugal, Metasabia Rigby, Mohamed Shidane, Amir Noir Soulkin, and Florence Sum.
Donations from the event went directly to this program. Please feel free to make a donation to keep our future fellowship cohorts strong (and note in the comments section that you’d like your donation to go directly to the Community Impact Fellowship).
Meet RVC’s new team members!
Say hi to Yecelica “YJV” Valdivia!
Yecelica “YJV” Valdivia is our new Fellowship Programs Coordinator!
YJV was born and raised in the Yakima Valley, occupied ancestral lands of the Yakama Nation. They moved to occupied Duwamish ancestral lands, Seattle, for college and it’s been their political home ever since. Deeply committed to the power and agency of youth and communities of color, they envision a world of shifted power where Black, Indigenous, and Brown folks live in dignity.
Much of their work has been at the intersections of personal and societal healing and transformation. They have a background in anti-racism, youth-centered political education, generative somatics and trauma informed practices, and prevention work. YJV’s long-term vision is to build a radical childcare center for and with families of color. They also have an affinity for tattoos, reconnecting with ancestral medicine, and dancing.
Say hi to Miko Pugal!
We recently hired one of our Community Impact graduates, Michael “Miko” Pugal! Miko was placed with RVC Community Impact Partner, AGE UP, where he was its capacity coordinator. His work at AGE UP touched on operations, financials, development, and programming work. He also ran internships and workshops, and coached ultimate frisbee.
We were so impressed with Miko’s work as a fellow that we hired him to be on our Operations Support team.
Want more Miko? Check out his Changemakers blog post “Does the Nonprofit Sector Really Welcome Young People with Open Arms?” for his thoughts on why a nonprofit career can seem intimidating or impossible to many young people and what we can do to foster more young leaders within our organizations.
RVC Partner Updates
RVC strengthens the power of communities of color in order to create a more equitable society through capacity-building, leadership development, and operations support. We accomplish this through our core programs and services as well as through leading partnerships with community members and organizations of color. These members and organizations provide support services tailored to the strengths and needs of the communities they serve.
Here are this month’s highlights of some of our partners’ amazing work!
Voices of Tomorrow enrolling new students, moved to a new location
Voices of Tomorrow, an RVC partner organization, is now enrolling new students! If your child lives in Seattle, Tukwila, Kent, or in the South King County area, they may be eligible to participate in a free preschool program. The organization ensures every aspect of the program advances and promotes racial equity and social justice for all children. Voices of Tomorrow’s mission is to create a safe, supportive, and stimulating environment to cultivate students’ sense of accomplishment and personal growth. To learn more about this opportunity or to apply, check out their preschool program website!
In other exciting news, the organization recently revealed in a blog that they moved from their old office in Tukwila to their brand new space in Burien. The new office opened on July 5, and they are currently accepting walk-ins. If there are any questions, they are encouraging those interested to reach out to them, either by email, by phone, or by visiting their office at 15811 Ambaum Blvd. SW, Burien, WA 98166.
Ray Corona, of Somos Seattle, wins the Emerging Leader Award
Congrats to Ray Corona, founder and executive director of RVC partner organization Somos Seattle, for being awarded the Emerging Leader Award from Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan! Ray was awarded at the 2019 Seattle Mayor’s Pride Reception, which was held on, June 26 at Queer Bar in Capitol Hill. Mayor Durkan awarded six LGBTQ+ community members and organizations with honors, which recognized some of Seattle’s most inspiring and dedicated leaders for their years of work to better Seattle’s communities and advance the rights of and uplift their LGBTQ+ neighbors.
Ray says, “I’m incredibly humbled and honored. … As we celebrate 50 years of Pride and Stonewall Riots this month, I’m ready to continue the fight for another 50!”
Ray and Somos Seattle also recently wrapped up their 3rd annual Latinx Pride Festival, which took place on July 20. The festival celebrates and highlights the many ways the Latinx community has contributed to the LGBTQ+ movement.
(Photo courtesy of Somos Seattle.)
WA-BLOC recently kicked off their Freedom Schools summer program
WA-BLOC, an RVC partner organization that empowers youth of color through academic, creative, and place-based leadership training, kicked off their Freedom Schools summer program on July 8. The six-week program is propelled by a curriculum that focuses on and celebrates Black and Brown heroes, and instruction is centered on student voice and fostering collective social action. Freedom Schools, involving 30 educators and 150 scholars, is designed to build strong, literate, and empowered youth prepared to make a difference, not only for themselves and their families, but in their communities.
To learn more about the program, visit the Freedom Schools website. There are a bunch of ways to get involved with this fantastic program and organization.You can volunteer as a reading guest (or just volunteer for a day in other capacities), donate art supplies, write a letter of encouragement or affirmation to a scholar or staff member, or donate. If you wish, you can donate here. And to inquire about how to get involved, contact the organization here.
Rainier Beach Action Coalition bringing awareness surrounding Priority Hire
Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), an RVC partner that improves the status of youth and families and their quality of life in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, recently posted a blog that highlights the Priority Hire ordinance passed by the City of Seattle a few years ago. The organization helped to organize and pass the ordinance, which helps to promote access to construction careers for women, people of color, and others with social and economic disadvantages. The ordinance requires that all City of Seattle construction projects over $5 million to have 25 percent of the workforce come from underinvested communities.
The City of Seattle recently secured a contractor for the $900 million Seattle Center Arena project, the former site of KeyArena. RBAC is currently in monitoring mode to make sure that the ordinance is being followed through on the project. According to their blog, there is potential for 165 hires from underinvested communities. If you are interested in working in the construction industry, give RBAC a call at 206-420-1010, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and ask for Eddie Grinnell. You can also swing by their office, located at 9013 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, just west of the Rainier Beach Light Rail Station.
Amy Pak, of Families of Color Seattle, receives Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award
We have yet another recipient of a community service award! Amy Pak, founder and executive director of RVC’s partner organization Families of Color Seattle, was honored with the Ginger Ackerley Community Service Award on July 19. Amy was honored during the Seattle Storm’s Inspiring Women Night, presented by Symetra. The annual tradition recognizes and shows appreciation to women who have made powerful contributions to our communities. Amy is known for her years of work in shaping meaningful community engagement through creating social change programs and innovative problem-solving.
“It is with tremendous gratitude to receive the honor to stand in sisterhood with such innovating change-makers and healers,” Amy says. “Thank you Seattle Storm and the leadership for being a beacon and a gorgeous gen for us all to embrace.”
Check out FOCS’ insta post, which features a video of Amy talking about the organization’s work and some fun pictures taken with Storm’s players! Congrats, Amy!
For $25 a month, you can become a Unicorn Member, and it comes with a bunch of perks. Unicorn membership includes:
Tickets to our Board Reception
Your name being recognized in our Annual Report
A letter of appreciation from our board chair
RVC designed T-shirt
RVC unicorn stickers
RVC phone stand ring
RVC logo pens
Become a Unicorn member and support the community you know and love. Join us today!
Job Opportunities In Our Network
Spark Northwest is hiring an Executive Director.
Ethiopian Community in Seattle is hiring an Executive Director.
Puget Sound Sage is hiring an Equitable Development Manager.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Puget Sound is hiring for multiple positions.
Voices of Tomorrow is hiring for multiple positions.
Rainier Beach Action Coalition is hiring for multiple positions.
Seattle Opera is hiring an Institutional Giving Associate.
Philanthropy Northwestis hiring for Program Manager.
Solid Ground is hiring for multiple positions.
Ventures has multiple job openings.
Literary Source is hiring an ESOL Lead Instructor.
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hiring for multiple positions.
July 27: South End Heritage Festival
July 27: Othello Block Party Volume 2
Aug. 3: CID Block Party 2019
Aug. 11: Othello Park International Festival
RVC Stuff to Read
How I found unexpected transformation as a Community Impact Fellow. Written by RVC Community Impact Fellow, Hana Gregory
Somos Seattle engages and celebrates to spotlight LGBTQ Latinx folks through summer events. Written by Rainier Valley Corps
How Somali Doulas promotes positive birthing experience through education, respect, and empowerment. Written by Rainier Valley Corps
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