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Community BBQ Supports WA Youth of Color Programming

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Wednesday, August 9, 2023   

A barbecue in Seattle is bringing the community together and will support events for youth of color in the region.

United Way of King County's second annual Community Barbecue is on Saturday at Renton Memorial Stadium.

Proceeds will go to after-school programming for the Racial Equity Coalition. The coalition is made up of 14 organizations serving Black, Indigenous and other communities of color.

Joy Sebe, associate director of education strategies for the United Way of King County, said one of the organizations is Red Eagle Soaring, which teaches and helps native youth perform native stories.

"It not only allows native youth to be in community with each other -- see caring adults and then to share their collective stories -- but it also provides the Seattle community with an opportunity to learn about native ways of life," Sebe explained.

Russell Brooks, executive director of Red Eagle Soaring, will provide the land acknowledgment at the Community Barbecue on Saturday. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food plates for the event are $10 but no one will be turned away if they cannot afford it. People can also donate plates.

Sebe noted organizations providing support for people of color often share common experiences but can still be separated from each other. She emphasized the coalition helps overcome the challenge.

"What this coalition provides is the opportunity for us to come together to learn from each other," Sebe stressed. "To learn from our cultural differences, and that support one another as a collective."

The Community Barbecue was started last year by former Seattle Seahawks player Doug Baldwin.

Mari Hirabayashi, events and marketing manager for the United Way of King County, acknowledged the event's popularity.

"It just sounded so fun and really a great way to bring people back out into the open after COVID and everybody sort of redoing their lives again. So that was the true inspiration, and it's just taken off since then."

Disclosure: United Way of King County contributes to our fund for reporting on Community Issues and Volunteering, Education, Housing/Homelessness, and Human Rights/Racial Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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