Amir Noir Soulkin
East African Community Services
Amir Noir Soulkin is a Social Justice scholar and advocate concerned with the investigation of Infinite Human Potential and Capacity Building in underrepresented, people of color communities. Formally trained in Cultural Studies, Noir deploys both Black Feminist and Foucauldian analyses to issues of power, representation, and social equity. Noir has more than 15 years of technology design and management, visual communications, brand development and resuscitation experience. He also possesses competencies in organizational analysis, relevance and visibility/viability assessment (across multiple media platforms).Of late, his intellectual concerns have shifted toward fair-wage, housing, and transportation justice in the ever-gentrifying Greater Seattle Area. To the extent that minoritized peoples of color—particularly lower-income Black Americans and African Immigrants— are often represented at the bottom of social-progress metrics, Noir is committed to working within the realms of civic governmental and community networks to increase the quality of life for these marginalized populations.
Families of Color Seattle
Denechia aligns their life with the Alice Walker quote, “Activism is my rent for living on the planet.” For the past seven years, Denechia has migrated throughout the South and the Pacific Northwest, working and volunteering for grassroots social justice movements. Both their career and personal life are informed by the values and teachings of womanism and intersectional feminism. They’re a sun in Gemini, Leo rising, and Aquarius moon who enjoys writing, dancing, and traveling in their free time. Denechia holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism & mass communication from the University of Georgia. They’re excited to help Families Of Color Seattle grow and thrive as their Operations Manager and to build accountable, transformative relationships with the other fellows.
Rainier Valley Corps
Florence (also goes by Flo) is a native Seattleite. Florence graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in American Ethnic Studies and Communications as well as a MA in Public Administration with a focus on nonprofit management and education policy. She is a youth advocate and educator who worked with young people on leadership development, higher education access (not limited to 4-year institutions), and higher education retention and other social services for the last 8 years. Her experience in small and large nonprofit organizations led them to their graduate education and to this fellowship as a nonprofit capacity builder. Florence has an enormous capacity for liberation work at the individual, grassroots, and institutional level. She believes in shared leadership, racial equity, building cross-cultural, cross-generational, and cross-issue movements, and tapping into the power and agencies of communities of color.When she is not immersed in combating systemic injustice, Florence enjoys frolicking in the mountains, playing video games, eating their way around town, and training in Muay Thai and Krav Maga.
Paul Laughlin was born and raised in the Filipino communities of San Francisco & Daly City. At 13 years old, his cousin taught him how to DJ and they would do gigs primarily within the Filipino community. He moved to Los Angeles, where he stayed for 11 years, to attend CSU Long Beach studying and eventually practicing civil engineering. In Los Angeles, he continued to DJ branching out from regular gigs into community and artist collective events, university and city festivals, concerts, dance clubs/bars, as well as sharing his skills by teaching youth from LA’s Historic Filipinotown. In 2014, Paul and his with moved to Seattle so he could attend the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance where he received a Master of Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management Certificate. He joined Totem Star as a Development Intern in mid-2015 and has worked closely with the Executive Director to help create and implement strategies for sustainable organizational growth. Paul continues to DJ community-based, university, and dance club/bar events. He loves sharing his knowledge of music with Totem Star youth and currently helps teach youth how to make beats and record.
Ethiopian Community in Seattle
Febben is a first generation Ethiopian-American. She is a true Seattle Native born and raised, she takes a lot of pride in that. She has been working in the nonprofit sector for over ten years and has enjoyed working with the community in various aspects. Her greatest role has been working as an advocate for families in King County who are experiencing homelessness. Febben’s passion is working with the black and immigrant community because she wants to see these groups of people be their best selves by any means necessary. She enjoys being a coffee connoisseur, a foodie and spending time with her friends and family.
Johnny is a proud Black Ethiopian American. Shaped by some of the most inspiring mentors during college years, Johnny garnered a passion for community organizing. His heroes include Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, and Martin Luther King Jr. After graduating from Seattle University, Johnny moved to Philadelphia and spent a year working with folks who come from formerly incarcerated or substance abuse backgrounds. Johnny wants to dedicate his life working alongside and for communities of color. You catch Johnny running around Seattle, chanting Black Lives Matter, and listening to HIP HOP.
Metasabia was born in Ethiopia. She has lived half her life in the U. S. and the other half in Ethiopia, Turkey, Croatia, Niger, and Uganda. She has worked with orphans, after-school programs at homeless shelters, in peacebuilding conferences in Vermont and Rwanda and in war zones. Metasabia believes that there are infinite possibilities, and as a society, if we would cultivate creativity and co-created spaces, we would be living in a healthier and more joy-filled world.
Somali Health Board
Mohamed’s favorite quote is, “Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom” from Thomas Carlyle. Having grown up in Dadaab refugee camp, one of the largest refugee camps in the world, Mohamed’s life has prepared him to love helping others-even before he was good at community organizing. Mohamed has lived in and around the King County area for the last 13 years. Between discovering his artistic and poetic talents while running around organizing and attending community events; both his character and personality has developed and transformed into taking leadership roles within the East African Community of Seattle. His favorite hobby is listening to classic African music and writing and reading poetry.
Ethiopian Community in Seattle
Rahel is a recent graduate of Seattle Pacific University with a BA of Global Development. She was born and lived half of her life in Ethiopia. She has experience in nonprofit management, social services, and donor relations with under-resourced communities on a global scale. She Co-Founded and serves as Board of Director for an international nonprofit focused on eradicating poverty through education provision for underprivileged children in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Rahel is passionate about issues in social justice especially in refugee and immigrant communities. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, listening to podcasts, and long naps on a hammock. She is excited to serve as an RVC Fellow and give back to her community.
Voices of Tomorrow
Hana was adopted from South Korea and has lived in Seattle her whole life. She graduated from the University of Washington with an Early Learning and Family Studies degree. Hana has a passion for working with children and families and being a support for social change. While starting her work in the nonprofit field she saw so many disparities that it motivated her to continue her work with children and families. This work has given her the drive to work towards a more just society. In her free time, Hana love’s to build Lego sets and play with her dog.
Puget Sound Sage
Michael “Miko” Angelo
Miko was born and raised in the South End, tracing his stomping grounds from Beacon Hill Park all the way to Othello Park. His commitment to his community is rooted in access to leadership for young folks. He’s a firm believer in the effectiveness of movement building, change work, and liberation work when young people are allowed to be apart of that process. Miko has been doing youth work for 4 years all throughout the South End primarily focusing on the intersection of sports, race, class, and sex. When he’s not breaking down the doors of systemic oppression, you can catch him in the South End coaching Ultimate Frisbee, smelling bomb food at all the tasty restaurants, and shaking his head at the fact that he lives by the José Rizal bridge but his family is one of few Filipinos in the neighborhood.