Shortly after our first program at Rainier Community Center we were encouraged by our dear friend Kate Becker (now an Advisory Board Member) to apply for the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative Community Matching Grant, which was the very first time we ever applied for a grant. After months of waiting, we were awarded $19,054 to do a Spring 2011 program at the Northwest African American Museum and The Royal Esquire Club, with both venues generously donating space and volunteer services as part of the community match! All for the youth!
Each session began with a family-style dinner with meal donations by The Royal Esquire Club, Frontier Room, Lottie’s Lounge, Tutta Bella, Pyramid Breweries, The Beachcomber, and more. After dinner a van donated by YouthSource picked up the youth in Columbia City and transported them to the Northwest African American Museum, where our recording studio was set up. After the sessions, youth were picked up by the van and dropped off at their homes – talk about comprehensive youth services! It’s amazing to see how the community comes together full-circle to support a group of youth doing positive work.
By the end of the three months, the youth had produced a track called “Oromo” with the hook “My block stay hot, bro, even in the winter / The game’s not easy every corner there’s a hater / Somebody got shot police asking questions / Another act of violence that could have been prevented.” It’s up to all of us to keep the youth safe.