Seattle MLK Day Workshops for 2020 will be released in late November!

Workshops precede the rally and march to downtown, and are held in classrooms at Garfield High School in Seattle from 9:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. Arrive early to ensure there is space!

The 2019 Workshops looked like this:

LIKE us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and connect with our event!


Join the NAACP Youth Coalition’s Movement for Racial Justice

Room 232

Learn from Seattle students how the Seattle School District is doing in building racial equity. Last year, the NAACP Youth Coalition’s MLK Day workshop led a Seattle School Board director to write a resolution in support of the #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool week of action, a resolution which made history. At this workshop, N-YC leaders will unveil their list of demands for year two, and share their progress on year one’s demands, including making ethnic studies courses mandatory. Those attending will also learn how they can support N-YC.

Presenters:  Youth Leaders: Emma Fedore, Aneesa Roidad (Ballard); Jubi Younkins, Emrys Foster, Kiyoshi Sakauye (Center School); Mia Dabney, Rena Mateja, Mitchell Moss, Devyonna Williams (Cleveland); LeVera Brown, Jaedyn Thomas (Franklin); Cece Chan (Nathan Hale); Aminah Adams, Thomas Foster, Israel Presley, Demetrius Rogers (Rainier Beach); Nabbil Hassan (Sealth); Arwen Blazier, Erica Ijeoma (West Seattle);   Gian Nicholo Rosario (University of Washington)

Coordinators: Virginia Bethea, Sebrena Burr, Rita Green, Jon Greenberg, Sooz Stahl

Bystander Intervention Experimentation.  

Room Library

Harassment and hate speech are on the rise across the country.  Effective intervention is difficult and risky.  In this interactive, immersive workshop, participants practice intervention strategies and learn what works and what doesn't.  We will use role playing, interactive games and follow-up discussion to begin to reprogram our automatic 'fight/flight/freeze' reactions and learn to safely, respectfully de-escalate tense situations. This workshop is informed by Theatre of the Oppressed.

Presenter:  Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom, Admiral UCC is a trained violence prevention educator, DV/SA survivor advocate, and holds an MA with a concentration in genocide studies, and an Mdiv with a concentration in ethics in social movements.

MLK - for Jean 8.jpg

MLK - for Jean 10.jpg

The Truth About Hate Groups and Hate Crimes. 

Room 203 

It’s time to take affirmative action against hate. This workshop examines how white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups proliferate. Bias crimes go unreported. Mainstream media cover only the most violent offenses. FBI hate crime statistics are inaccurate. The result: communities get a false sense of security. In this workshop you’ll learn about how malicious harassment cases are – and aren’t – reported.  Participants will learn how radical right organizations recruit and retain members, why defectors abandon the movement, and what their stories tell us about stopping hate. The session will end with individual action plans to “stop hate in your own community.”

Presenter:  Former civil rights reporter Lonnie Lusardo is a cultural competency professional and author of From Hate to Compassion: How Seven Former White Supremacists Transformed Their Lives, due for publication in 2019.

Affirmative Action = Justice: Can I Get a Witness?

Room 221

Six top-notch spoken word artists will bear witness in poetry and prose on how justice can be served through appropriately applied affirmative action and how justice is delayed without intentional action. Powerful voices will pay homage to pillars of the past, such as MLK Jr. and the people paving the long and winding road towards justice for all.  Powerfully honest performers will light up the shadows and illuminate dark corners hiding the truth about justice and affirming the actions we need to take to press forward with hope, faith, and justice.


Jacqueline (Jaye) Ware, Member, African American Writers’ Alliance, Writer, Poet, Spoken Word Artist.  Anthology; Voices That Matter, CJ Dudley, Poet, Spoken Word Performer, Pianist, Vocalist, Author.  Book and CD:  Letters To A Blind Man, Colin Corpe, Poet, Spoken Word Artist,  Troy Osaki, Poet, Author, Spoken Word Performer, Nakeya Isabell, Vocalist, Poet, Spoken Word Artist.  Recent Album Release:  Love, Justice, and Truth.

Events - MLK-04.png

Events - MLK-05.png

Diversity: What? So What? Now What?

Room 201

WHAT: What is diversity?  Can you describe it? SO WHAT: Does diversity matter, and if so why? NOW WHAT: Where do you go from here? How do you convince others (your box, your organization) that diversity makes us ALL better? In this workshop, Christina & Nathan will build the case for diversity, equity and inclusion once and for all, by clarifying terminology, sharing the benefits of diversity, articulate its importance to YOU, and share our many intersecting selves.

Presenter: Christina Chang, Christina Chang Equity Consulting & Elvin Nathan Jones, Multi-cultural educator.

Facing Hate: APIAs and Bullying in Schools

Room 202     

This student-run workshop shows the verbal, physical, and emotional violence that students endure is distressing and APIA (Asian and Pacific Islander American) youth who are bullied face unique cultural, religious, and language barriers that can keep them from getting help. This workshop addresses the issue of how to deal with and prevent bullying. Speakers will discuss the 6 types of bullying most commonly faced by Asian Americans, what schools have more bullying, and how to deal with bullying and resources to get help.

Presenters: Connie So, Asian Counseling & Referral Service, UW Seattle Ethnic Studies, OCA Asian Pacific Advocates      

Events - MLK-06.png

Events - MLK-08.png

Economic Inequity & Your Vote

Room 206

Residents must fight for economic equity through the power of their vote. Understanding the power of their vote, and educating them about our inequitable tax system, can support affirmative action and create a stronger movement for economic justice.

Your vote will help with the passage of Initiative 1000 would change Washington state law to allow the government to use “affirmative action that does not constitute preferential treatment” to remedy discrimination in public employment, education and contracting so that more people can get hired.

Presenters: Velma Veloria, Coalition of Immigrants, Refugees and Communities of Color (CIRCC), Sameth Mell, Clarence Gunn

Radio Interviewing with Radio Active Youth Media

Room 236

Sharing journalism skills with young people and other marginalized folks is an important part of social justice work, since media messages greatly affect how politics play out.

Sharing journalism skills with young people and other marginalized folks is an important part of social justice work, since media messages greatly affect how politics play out. What kinds of questions get deep and interesting answers from an interview subject? How do you take an interview from awkward to awesome? You'll take part in hands-on activities, analyze interview examples, and practice doing an interview.

Presenters:  Lila Kitaeff & Aliyah Musaliar, RadioActive Youth Media / KUOW 94.9

Events - MLK-09.png

Events - MLK-10.png

Building Unity Against the Racist Alt-Right

Room 226

This workshop relates to Dr. King's movement to end the "triple evils" of racism, poverty and militarism. Fascists, whether they call themselves the KKK, the Nazis or "alt-right" are all essentially racist, and seek to mislead people suffering as a result of economic conditions, to see other working people as their enemy. We want to promote unity and solidarity in our beloved community to oppose these hateful ideologies. Attendees will leave knowing: (1) What is the fascist danger in the Pacific Northwest? (2) How are we organizing to stop these fascist elements? (3) How can we build this movement? 

Presenter:  Devyn Forschmiedt-ANSWER Coalition, Annaliza Torres-Radical Women, Ariel Hard-Seattle Clinic Defense

Immigration Rapid Response Training

Room 310

The Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network is a powerful network of over 100 organizations that are building a collective defense line to protect our community. Come learn about a powerful tool of the WAISN hotline, learn your rights to protect yourself and your community if ICE comes knocking at the door and learn about ongoing actions and resources. 

Presenter:  Monserat Padilla, Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network

Events - MLK-11.png

Events - MLK-12.png

A Conversation on Homelessness: How Do We Move Forward?

Room 213

Homelessness grows in Seattle and King County and many harmful narratives have taken root in our society. Misconceptions surrounding the homeless population abound, and without a way forward, people’s frustration is reaching a critical mass. By establishing shared values and engaging together about the root causes of homelessness, we will converse as advocates, service providers, those currently and formerly homeless, and community to come to a greater understanding, on how we can work to solve this incredibly complex issue together.

Presenters: Matthew Lang, Lead Organizer, Transit Riders Union, Volunteer Coordinator, Pro Head Tax Campaign; Homeless Rights Advocate and ACLU Sweeps Observer; Jenn Adams, Case Worker, Bridge Care Center; Organizer, Ballard Community Task Force on Homelessness and Hunger; Formerly Homeless; Sean Smith, Currently Homeless; Board of SHARE; Nickelsville Resident

Asian Americans and Affirmative Action: Addressing Power, Privilege and Prejudice

Room 215

This workshop will unpack negative stigmas and biases around affirmative action in the context of the Asian American Community. We’ll address myths about quotas and elaborate on the policy’s history. We’ll describe difference in barriers that Asian people have faced compared to Black, Latinx, Native and other populations. We’ll address the Model Minority myth, a tool constructed by whiteness to promote meritocracy and dismiss the existence of racism against black and brown groups, and how Asians have interacted with this title. We’ll dissect how anti-Affirmative Action sentiments have been enabled within the Asian American community through anti-black racism.

Presenters: Jasmine Fernandez, Yash Katwal, Dhani Srinivasan, & Hayden Ratliff, Global Visionaries (GV)

Events - MLK-13.png

Events - MLK-14.png

Modern Segregation

Room 327

We’ll talk about redlining, gentrification, wage gaps, and other discriminatory policies (of the past and present) that segregate people of color in the US. Using local examples, we’ll discuss how our history of racism affects educational and economic opportunities. The group will look at maps, articles and images and discuss how they connect to their own lives. They will look at how affirmative action can combat systems of segregation that affect people of color and close gaps between marginalized groups and people who benefit from those systems.

Presenters:  Abigail Larson, Shorewood High School, Maya Garzelli, Roosevelt High School ; Angelique Eklund, Roosevelt High School; Claire LaFramboise, Bush High School (GV)

The State of Ethnic Studies in Seattle Public Schools

Room 224

Affirmative action is the act of intentionally centering the needs and voices of oppressed identities. Ethnic studies is the same act specifically in regards to content in schools.

This workshop includes several members of the Seattle Public School's Ethnic Studies Advisory Group. This group consists of educators who have been working on building the foundation of the program. They will give an update on the status of the program followed by Q & A session.

Presenters:  Various members of the Seattle Public Schools Ethnic Studies Advisory Group

Events - MLK-15.png

Events - MLK-16.png

#DecolonizingMyDiagnosis: A self-advocacy workshop for disabled BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color)

Room 205

This workshop defines the concepts of Intersectional Disability Justice and history of Racialized Ableism, and facilitates action steps for self-advocacy, interpersonally and socio-politically. The facilitator will outline the rights of individuals at the crossroads of two protected classes, and discuss how to advocate for acknowledgment and justice within affirmative action and social justice. The intention of the offering is to bring awareness to a rarely discussed topic, its sociopolitical and sociocultural effects, and begin conversations on dismantling and disrupting the violence, silence, and erasure of the dynamic.

Presenters: ChrisTiana ObeySumner is a social equity consultant, educator, and advocate, who specializes in areas of disability/ADA, race/ethnicity/culture, and LGBTQIA+ justice, and their intersections

The Importance of Social Security and Medicare for Women and People of Color

Room 223

We will explore the importance of the fight to expand and enhance Social Security and Medicare for an Affirmative Action agenda, looking at how we got to where we are, current issues and possibilities for change. Both Social Security and Medicare are vital to insuring that all have access to basic retirement and disability security. Expanding and enhancing the programs is especially important to those who have historically not had equal access to good jobs with retirement and health care benefits.

Presenter: Steve Bauck, PSARA, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action

Events - MLK-17.png

Events - MLK-18.png

Cuba: Another World is Possible and You Can Go There

Room 207

Four organizations, who have built a solidarity movement for Cuba in Seattle and nationally, will come together in this workshop to talk about the real Cuba and tell you the ways you can continue to go to Cuba in an affordable, educational and responsible way as a solidarity activist! Hear from representatives from US Women and Cuba Collaboration, Venceremos Brigade celebrating their 50th anniversary in bringing work brigades to Cuba, Seattle-Cuba Friendship Committee and our Seattle New Hope Baptist Church and their young peoples' organic gardening project and delegation.

Presenters: Moon Vazques and Cindy Domingo, US Women and Cuba Collaboration; Garry Owens, local organizer of the upcoming Venceremos Brigade Delegation; John Waller is Secretary of the Seattle-Cuba Friendship Committee and staff to Pastors for Peace/IFCO Cuba Caravan; Nyema Clark, member of New Hope Baptist Church and organizing the young people’s delegation around organic gardening.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women: The Spirit of Resiliency

Room 216

Native American people in the USA and First Nations people in Canada are joining forces in a movement revolving around Truth, Justice, & Healing called M.M.I.W. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. This workshop will focus on that movement, engaging students to think critically about the history of the land they live on, current laws, and research regarding MMIW, & the injustice Native Women face in our country by learning about one local family’s story.

Presenter:  Chelsea Hendrickson, Program Coordinator Pathways to Healing Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Events - MLK-21.png

Martin Luther King & Militarism

Room 211

MLK said, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Veterans for Peace, established in 1985 by veterans to serve the cause of world peace and bring awareness to the cost of war, will discuss how Dr. King’s position on militarism view resonate today. These topics will be expanded upon at the intersect of colonialism and white supremacy as well as the various impacts on targeted and marginalized community. Participants will envision a world beyond war and leave with materials and links for further reflection and action. 

Presenters: Veterans for Peace: Will Alekson, Board, Viet Nam Army; Phoenix Johnson, President, Air Force, Post 9-11 OEF/OIF; Ramon Nacanaynay, Member, Air Force, Cold War

Building Participation of Communities of Color in Legislative Districts

Room 330

In 2017, progressive candidates staged a stunning upset in the City of Burien, winning a majority of seats on the City Council. How did they do it? Learn about how Burien’s candidates built a winning strategy to lead a city that proudly supports its immigrant residents. Still, more work is needed to increase participation of people of color in local legislative politics. Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta will lead workshop participants in brainstorming strategies to building participation of people of color in legislative districts, the heart of Washington electoral politics.

Presenter: Burien Mayor, Jimmy Matta

Events - MLK-22.png

Events - MLK-23.png

Closing the Opportunity Gap and Creating Equity in Education with the Families, Education Preschool and Promise Levy

Room 312

This workshop will engage participants around the comprehensive ways in which the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy intends to close the opportunity gap and advance the success of Seattle students, especially historically-underserved students. In this workshop you’ll have the opportunity to: Get to know the Directors of Seattle’s Department of Education & Early Learning; Gain knowledge about the recently passed Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy; Ask the experts about how this Levy will impact you and your community.

Seattle Department of Education & Early Learning

Dwane Chappelle – Director
Monica Liant-Aguirre – Director Early Learning Division
Cristina Gaeta – Director K12 Division

Redefining Immigration

Room 239

Immigrants are divided into imposed categories. Yet by unmasking the common origins of our migration, by seeing the common threads in the displacement caused by capitalism, we can unify our efforts and develop new strategies for immigrant justice of struggle.

To identify ourselves as displaced persons as refugees is to take power where we have the right to refuge, but even more the right to demand accountability, under the international framework, of our countries of origin for repression, persecution and, ultimately, the displacement of which they are authors and accomplices, which are dictated by our interests in common, and not by the national policy and interests of national and international capital.

Presenter:   Juan Bocanega, Jorge Quiroga, El Comite

Events - MLK-24.png

Events - MLK-25.png

Black Maternal Health

Room 212

Here in the US, Black women have the highest maternal mortality rates and even have higher rates than some women in developing countries. How do we center and uplift those who are bringing in the next generation of the Black community? Join us as we learn how institutional racism has led to Black mothers having the highest maternal mortality rate of any race in the US. We will also learn about ways that Black mothers are empowering themselves and the ancestral work of doulas and birth workers.

Presenter: Jackie Vaughn, Surge Reproductive Justice Program & Outreach Director, has extensively studied & advocated for these issues.  She is also currently an expecting Black mother.

City of Seattle Silence Breakers

Room 225

This workshop is presented by workers and unionists from the City of Seattle and by community activists. They will discuss sexual and racial harassment, discrimination, bullying and retaliation that workers have been facing and organizing against. Presenters will discuss the formation of Seattle Silence Breakers, its organizing efforts and demands that are being made of City of Seattle officials. Demands include policy changes to change the culture and stop all forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying. Participants will learn a model for effective joint worker and community organizing.

Events - MLK-26.png