BY NHIEN NGUYEN
Nonprofits around the region convened at South Seattle Community College on Tuesday, Sept. 19 for the Nonprofit Assistance Center Sixth Annual Community Building Conference. This year’s conference focused on the theme, “Race Forward: Transforming Communities Through Racial Justice.”
The all-day conference included speakers and panelists about how poverty, institutions and systems, and structural racism impacts disadvantaged communities, particularly communities of color.
Keynote speaker Elaine Brown, former leading member of the Black Panther Party, delivered a passionate speech that motivated the nonprofits to continue their work addressing racial inequities.
Ike Ikeda, long time community activist, led a special workshop based on his principles of harnessing the “significant powers within each of us.” Ikeda was honored for his lifetime of service with a NAC award during the lunch break.
Other workshop topics included promoting race equity in education, tips for activists to engage in ballot initiative campaigns, and talking race to the media.
“This year, the focus of our conference is on racial justice and equity, so we can begin to influence policies and institutional practices that perpetuate poverty, low educational achievement and high incarceration among communities of color,” writes Alice Ito, NAC board chair, and Vicki Asakura, NAC executive director, in a welcome letter.
The conference theme reflects NAC’s mission and supports the community change they believe will result in creating an equitable and just society.