For over a century, the Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. County Branch of the NAACP
has been promoting the dream of equality and opportunity for all.
Remembering DeCharlene Williams
With heavy hearts the family of Charlene “DeCharlene” Williams announced the passing of this phenomenal woman, business leader and Trailblazer! Williams, who was the founding President and CEO of the Central Area Chamber of Commerce, was the owner of DeCharlene’s Beauty Shop & Boutique; and Barber College.
A cherished mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and cousin, Civil Rights leader, philanthropist, founder, visionary, writer, and community icon, Williams was most known for her work in commerce and small business development and friend to many....
For 50 years, Williams worked for business opportunities and economic development for women and people of color...When DeCharlene was looking to buy a building to run her small business out of, she was denied loans by 30 different banks. She was trying to purchase her property during a time when property was not sold to women, especially women of color.
She convinced a banker to use only her first initial instead of her full name on the loan application, so they would not know that she was a woman....Fifty years later, her businesses (DeCharlene’s Beauty Shop and Boutique, DeCharlene’s Beauty College, as well as the Central Area Chamber of Commerce office) appear to be about all that is left of what used to be the center of Seattle’s Black economy and communityalong the East Madison corridor....She founded the Central Area Chamber of Commerce to help Black businesses seek solutions to common problems, such as being denied the opportunity of loans that could have helped them restore their buildings and grow their businesses.
It was her passion to help minority business development and support minority businesses and she worked hard to teach her community the importance of being involved in city development....Some of her accomplishments were:
Homegoing Services: June 2 at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church – 1634 19th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. (206) 322-6500.
Repass Celebration: June 2 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at The Royal Esquire Club – 5016 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118. (206) 723-2811
The family of DeCharlene Williams is asking members of the community to send memorable pictures that they’d like to be include in Williams’ slideshow to: DeCharlene206@gmail.com.
DeCharlene wants everyone to celebrate her life. Be sure to wear your finest hat if you have one!
Click here to read the full unabridged Seattle Medium article.
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Mural in West Seattle featuring NAACP ACT-SO participant Mahala Provost! Way to go, Mahala, we're so proud of you! Thanks to the artist who painted this brilliant piece.
March 6, 2018
Bring your questions about teacher diversity in Washington schools to the second annual #EducationSoWhite
The Seattle Times
This year’s event, which is co-presented by Education Lab, is an encore to last year’s discussion, where a panel of education equity advocates and teachers of color discussed teacher diversity and turnover, inclusion for students from marginalized groups and the school-to-prison pipeline.
February 15, 2018
End Death Penalty: Unjust and Costly
OpEd by Vice President Sheley Secrest and President Gerald Hankerson
The Seattle Times
Since the 1500s, Lady Justice has been depicted wearing a blindfold representing impartiality. However, to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and many blacks living in Washington state, she sees clearly in vivid color.
February 15, 2018
Seattle youth on the rise for Black Lives Matter
At Garfield High School, it was student Jelani Howard who led the football team in kneeling during the national anthem. At Rainier Beach High School, student Elijah Lewis is part of a new local Youth Coalition for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to “unite anti-racist groups across Seattle to demand a seat at the table.”...“I’m a young activist that is actively fighting for my community, by speaking out and informing others to become young leaders,” he said in a recent post. “My plan is to reverse some of the negative effects of gentrification, and speak for those who are silent. The time is now to stand on what you believe in.”
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