Community Stories: A Decade Celebrating Diversity

Seattle Channel is celebrating 10 years of “Community Stories”, the documentary series that spotlights Seattle communities with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

In her blog, Community Stories producer Shannon Gee writes, “Since that first summer in 2005, Community Stories has told inspiring stories from all over the city. We met the tireless volunteers at Seattle’s VA Hospital; saw how Helping Link teaches computer literacy skills and English to Vietnamese immigrants; and followed the Post-Prison Education Program, which provides college tuition for ex-cons.”

She adds, “We met a lot of firsts, too. Harold Mills, the first African American hydroplane racer at Seafair. Bonnie Beers, the city of Seattle’s first female firefighter. Dr. Ruby Shu, the first Japanese American female doctor in Seattle. We examined history with the story of slain Seattle Filipino American and fishing cannery activists Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes and looked back at how Seattle responded to the emerging AIDS crisis in the 1980s. We said hello to new Hillman City coffee shop Tin Umbrella and goodbye to the beloved Bailey/Coy Books on Broadway.”

In 10 years, Community Stories has been honored with more than 30 Northwest Emmy™ nominations, including five for the series overall, and 10 wins. The latest win was this year. Ian Devier won a Northwest Regional Emmy Award for his editing of “Honor Totem.” The awards didn’t end there.

In June, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) recognized the Seattle Channel with a 2015 Kaleidoscope Award, which honors outstanding achievements in the coverage of diversity. “Honor Totem” is a documentary which chronicled the carving of a totem pole to honor John T. Williams, a First Nations woodcarver who was fatally shot by a Seattle police officer in August 2010. It also detailed the artistic legacy of his family.

Congratulations to Shannon Gee, Ian Devier and everyone at Seattle Channel for 10 years of quality storytelling. Here’s to many more years of celebrating the stories of people who are often overlooked and ignored, but that doesn’t make their voices any less important.

If you’d like to submit story input, want further information or might have a suggestion for Community Stories, please contact Community Stories Senior Producer Shannon Gee at  shannon.gee@seattle.gov

Beacon Hill Meaningful Movie “Honor Totem” March 20

What can a person do when faced with injustice?  The John T. Williams Totem Pole project rose from the August 2010 fatal police shooting of Williams, a First Nations woodcarver.  The shooting, which was found to be unjustified by the Seattle Police Department, sparked an outcry that extended beyond the city of Seattle and the native community.  The slain man’s older brother Rick Williams chose a peaceful response through an ambitious endeavor to carve a 34-foot totem pole in honor of the Willliams family’s artistic legacy and the memory of one of its most talented carvers.  A poignant examination of how a community leans on the power of tradition, art and clulture after one horrific event, Honor Totem tells the story of a brother’s love and determination to “take something ugly and give something beautiful back”

Special guests for the evening will be film maker Ian Devier, master carver Rick Williams, and leader of the John T Williams Organizing Committee Jay Holllingsworth.

Friday, March 20, 7:00pm (doors open 6:15pm)
Free movie, free popcorn!  Discussion follows movie.
Garden House (2336 15th Ave S, across from the Shell station)
ADA parking and ramp access from the alley