A quick thought about the Seattle School Board

This is the year, if there ever was one, to really change Seattle Public Schools. In addition to the four seats up for election this fall, two additional school board members in Seattle (Betty Patu and Zachary DeWolf) have announced their desire to resign this year and vacate their seats early.

The school board only has seven members to begin with. By the end of this year, we could essentially have a completely new school board. I've written more about this that I'll share tomorrow, but I just want to plant the seed for now.

Our school board has been a dysfunctional roadblock to change for too long. Imagine six new champions for equity filling these school board seats. Think of what's suddenly possible!

This is a rare opportunity. Let's make the most of it.

A Parable on Whiteness (from a Four-Year-Old)

A Parable on Whiteness (from a Four-Year-Old)

One evening, sitting on the floor in our hotel room in Oakland, Zeke started drumming on a plastic cup.

“This song is about a town where everything is white,” he told me after a few minutes. “White, white, white. Everything used to be rainbow colored, but something happened to turn it all white. Now they can’t tell what house is theirs. Everything looks the same.”

Then he sang for a while as he drummed.

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Sounds and Songs from the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington DC

Sounds and Songs from the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington DC

I was lucky enough to participate in the first Indigenous Peoples March in Washington DC on Friday. Listen to the sounds that surrounded me and join me in considering your place in all of this.

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A call to live out your principles more fully than ever

A call to live out your principles more fully than ever

Don’t forget that it’s up to us, all of it. All of this. If we don’t upend the current state of affairs, who will? If we don’t fight oppression, who will?

We know what we know. I hope that if nothing else, this might inspire you to think hard. If you saw a movie with yourself as the main character, knowing what you know, what you would expect that character to do? What would that character find him or herself doing in the name of living out your principles?

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Checking out a new children's book: 'Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters'

Checking out a new children's book: 'Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters'

Our house is bursting at the seams in all kinds of ways these days, and we are particularly lucky to be overflowing with books of all kinds — especially for kids. We have shelves filled with kids books written by people of color, and it’s fun to sift through them. (I’d love to keep sharing them with you, incidentally.)

We also have some that are like this one: books written about people of one race by people of another, or about one gender by another, as is the case with “Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics,” written by Jason Porath. The question of why he, a self-described "random white guy from Kentucky,” was writing a book about women, is probably best answered by his dedication page, which reads, “

I suppose you want a mix, in the end, but it remains important to be conscious of this dynamic, and that we are intentional about hearing authentic storytellers.

What do you think?

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Welcome home, my love, for the first time: a reflection on the urgency of love (and a new song)

Welcome home, my love, for the first time: a reflection on the urgency of love (and a new song)

Right now, at this moment, I have two kids: a nine-year-old who is technically my stepson, and a three-year-old who is my biological son.

Julian and I met just before he turned two, so we’ve been together a long time now. Loving and parenting him have changed my life in ways that were immediate and ways that have turned out to be gradual.

When Zeke came, change struck in a bewildering flash.

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Paying tribute to Scott Hutchison, a man whose music has been a life preserver for me through some stormy seas, after learning his battle with depression ended this week

Paying tribute to Scott Hutchison, a man whose music has been a life preserver for me through some stormy seas, after learning his battle with depression ended this week

Back in 2010, I saw the band Frightened Rabbit play a beautiful show at a little venue in Portland called Berbati’s Pan.

I’d been listening to their album, The Midnight Organ Fight, almost non-stop for a long time at that point. It’s such a sad set of songs, but so earnest. So beautiful in their vulnerability and in lead singer/songwriter Scott Hutchison’s way of describing heartbreak, loss, depression and thoughts of suicide that is intimately relatable and also unlike I’ve ever heard it said before.

Scott went missing a couple days ago, with friends and family describing him as having been in a “fragile state.” Police in Scotland found his body today. A few days ago, he and I were both 36. Now he was 36, and I still am.

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Black History Today: Jacqueline Hardy, musical steward and humble leader

Black History Today: Jacqueline Hardy, musical steward and humble leader

When I think about powerful leaders, I think about those who are constantly in the mode of service. Utilizing their gifts and talents for the benefit of others.

When I think of one of those people I am always struck by the talent and deep humility of Jacqueline Hardy. She comes from an incredible line in the same last name but is a musical icon in the Pacific Northwest and around the country.

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