BLACK LIVES MATTER
TAKE ACTION

About Us

Our
Approach

Our mission is to build and nurture intergenerational leaders through transformative education and revolutionary social action.

Our vision is for South Seattle to be an epicenter where Black and Brown folx thrive. We achieve this vision through year-round educational programming that re-engages students in school, dismantles systemic racism, and disrupts the school to prison pipeline for Black and Brown youth in South Seattle.

Healing Centered

We value self-love and healing so that we can come together to implement collective healing in our community.
Youth Led

We center the voices of the youth we serve and support them in being at the forefront of every movement.
Inter-Generational Leadership
Intergenerational leadership development builds self-reflection, teamwork and leadership skills in both scholars and college-age leaders.

Meet Our Team

Tyra
Restorative Justice Director
tyra@wa-bloc.org
Laura
Operations and Finance Director
lwright@wa-bloc.org
Sierra
Communications and Development Coordinator
sierra@wa-bloc.org
Keisha
Restorative Justice Coordinator
keisha@wa-bloc.org
Katie
Freedom Schools Program Manager
katie@wa-bloc.org
Geneva
Restorative Justice Coordinator
geneva@wa-bloc.org
 Chelsea
RBHS Social Worker and Liaison
chelsea@wa-bloc.org
 Shelby
Freedom Schools Site Coordinator
shelby@wa-bloc.org
 Yobachinia
Social Media Coordinator

Timeline

July 6, 2015:
First Freedom Schools Summer
Inaugural Freedom School at Rainier Beach High School
August 14, 2015:
First Day of Social Action
Freedom Schools scholars organize a march to protest against 2.5-mile walk zone policy, marching from John Stanford Center to City Hall; launching a multi-year campaign ultimately leading to the Youth Orca Card Program which provides free ORCA cards for middle and high school students; walk zone policy reduced to 1 mile.
<
>
2015
Inaugural Freedom Schools at Rainier Beach High School
2015
Freedom Schools scholars organize a march to protest against 2.5 mile walk zone policy, marching from John Stanford Center to City Hall; launching a multi-year campaign ultimately leading to the Youth Orca Card Program which provides free ORCA cards for middle and high school students; walk zone policy reduced to 1 mile.
April 2016
WA-BLOC is "founded" after Urban Impact cancels summer Freedom Schools program abruptly. Scholars/community rally and want to continue Freedom Schools. Staff terminated from UI, raise 50K in 3 months to host Freedom Schools at Rainier Beach High School
July 2016
Host Freedom Schools at Rainier Beach HS Summer 2016 for the 2nd consecutive summer for 60 rising 9th and 10th graders - Tyr Griffith, Site Coordinator
August 2016
Team decides to continue work as "WA-BLOC" and launch 2016-17 school year programming (Homework Center, BLOC Party, In-class support/co-teaching, academic mentoring, Food Justice Organizing) with a Personal Service Contract with SPS
September 2016
Transit Justice Organizing continues (Pilot program created by SPS, 50 RBHS students receive ORCA Card, attendance and grades tracked)
January 2017
EPIC Zero Youth Detention Grant funds first Restorative Justice Coordinator at Rainier Beach High School, Afam Ayika. WA-BLOC and Afam host multiple circle keeping trainings for youth and staff and begin implementing restorative justice into RHBS systems
January 2017
WA-BLOC mission and vision co-created with students and community
May 2017
Launch Freedom Schools at Summit Sierra in partnership with Seattle University (Led by Darozyl) and continue Freedom Schools at RBHS
November 2017
WA-BLOC Logo created by Vien Truong
Match 2018
Jerrel, Ifrah, Zion lead Undoing Racism PD for RBHS staff the same week as the 4th annual BLOC Party
April 2018
Launch Freedom Schools at South Shore Elementary School and continue Freedom Schools at RBHS
April 2018
No New Youth Jail Anthem written, produced, and filmed by RBHS Freedom Schools Scholars
September 2018
Launch BSK Restorative Justice Programming at RBHS through BSK grant
September 2018
Youth Orca Program "created" - ALL SPS High School students receiver free, year-round ORCA Cards after years of advocacy
September 2018
Makaelah launches Black Girl Magic mentor group
April 2019
Fully Transition to Rainier Valley Corps as new fiscal sponsor
April 2019
27 place-base college-aged students hired for Freedom Schools 2019
April 2019
Host 5th annual BLOC Party at RBHS featuring over 40 different community and youth-led social justice themed workshops
September 2019
Launch Freedom Schools at Emerson Elementary an continue Freedom Schools at RBHS for 5th consecutive summer
September 2019
Launch Don't Judge Me mentor group
September 2019
Launch Restorative Justice at Emerson Elementary Schools
January 2020
Co-host the film "Pushout" and lead conversations about the criminalization of black girls in schools with RBHS students and staff
March 2020
Launch Feed the Beach food justice program as emergency response to school closures
March 2020
Provided $50k in emergency relief checks to 50 Emerson Elementary and Rainier Beach HS families
March 2020
Begin weekly grocery delivery to 40 families in the Rainier Beach neighborhood
March 2020
Launched virtual RJ healing circles
May 2020
Partnered with youth-led activist group Black Minds Matter and FEEST Seattle to apply pressure to Seattle School Board to permanently remove School Emphasis Officers (SEOs) from schools
June 2020
Seattle School Board indefinitely removes SEO's from schools due to youth + community applied pressure
July 2020
Facilitated Freedom Schools virtually at Rainier Beach HS and Emerson Elementary
July 2020
Became financial sponsor for youth-led activist group Black Minds Matter