First Freedom Schools Summer

July 6, 2015

Inaugural Freedom Schools at Rainier Beach High School

First Day of Social Action

August 14, 2015

Freedom Schools scholars organize a march to protest against 2.5-mile walk zone policy, marching from John Stanford Center to City Hall; launching a multi-year campaign ultimately leading to the Youth Orca Card Program which provides free ORCA cards for middle and high school students; walk zone policy reduced to 1 mile.

WA-BLOC is Founded

April 15, 2016

WA-BLOC is ‘founded’ after Urban Impact cancels summer Freedom Schools program abruptly.  Scholars/community rally and want to continue Freedom Schools.  Staff terminated from UI, raise 50K in 3 months to host Freedom Schools at Rainier Beach High School

Second Freedom Schools Summer

July 5, 2016

Host Freedom Schools at Rainier Beach HS Summer 2016 for the 2nd consecutive summer for 60 rising 9th and 10th graders- Tyra Griffith, Site Coordinator

WA-BLOC’s First School Year

August 22, 2016

Team decides to continue work as “WA-BLOC” and launch 2016-17 school year programming (Homework Center, BLOC Party, In-class support/co-teaching, academic mentoring, Food Justice Organizing) with a Personal Service Contract with SPS

Progress on Transit Justice

September 1, 2016

Transit Justice Organizing continues (Pilot program created by SPS, 50 RBHS students receive ORCA Card, attendance and grades tracked)

Restorative Justice at RBHS

January 9, 2017

EPIC Zero Youth Detention Grant funds first Restorative Justice Coordinator at Rainier Beach High School, Afam Ayika. WA-BLOC and Afam host multiple circle keeping trainings for youth and staff and begin implementing restorative justice into RBHS systems

WA-BLOC Mission + Vision Formed

January 11, 2017

WA-BLOC mission and vision co-created with students and community 

New Freedom Schools Site Launched

May 1, 2017

Launched Freedom Schools at Summit Sierra in partnership with Seattle University (Led by Darozyl) and continued Freedom Schools at RBHS for 3rd consecutive summer

WA-BLOC Logo Created

November 14, 2017

WA-BLOC Logo created by student Vien Truong 

4th Annual BLOC Party + Undoing Racism PD at RBHS

March 23, 2018

Jerrell, Ifrah, Zion lead Undoing Racism PD for RBHS staff the same week as the 4th annual BLOC Party

K-12 Freedom Schools Summer

April 2, 2018

Launched Freedom Schools at South Shore Elementary School and continued Freedom Schools at RBHS for 4th consecutive summer

No New Youth Jail Anthem

April 13, 2018

No New Youth Jail Anthem written, produced, and filmed by RBHS Freedom Schools Scholars

Orca Cards for ALL

September 3, 2018

Youth Orca Program “created”—ALL SPS High School students receive free, year-round ORCA Cards after years of advocacy

Restorative Justice Programming at RBHS Launched

September 10, 2018

Launched BSK Restorative Justice Programming at RBHS through BSK grant

BLOC Mentor Group Established

September 17, 2018

Makaelah Smith launches Black Girl Magic mentor group

Fifth Annual BLOC Party

March 27, 2019

Hosted 5th annual BLOC Party at RBHS featuring over 40 different community and youth-led social justice themed workshops

New Fiscal Sponsor

April 1, 2019

Fully transitioned to Rainier Valley Corps as new fiscal sponsor 

Fifth Annual Freedom Schools Hiring

April 26, 2019

27 place-based college-aged students hired for Freedom Schools 2019

New Freedom Schools Partnership

July 8, 2019

Launched Freedom Schools at Emerson Elementary and continued Freedom Schools at RBHS for 5th consecutive summer

New BLOC Mentor Group Established

September 18, 2019

Launched Don’t Judge Me mentor group

Restorative Justice Expanded

September 23, 2019

Launched Restorative Justice at Emerson Elementary School

Pushout Film Showing

February 5, 2020

Co-hosted the film “Pushout” and lead conversations about the criminalization of black girls in schools with RBHS students and staff

Feed the Beach

March 13, 2020

Launched Feed the Beach food justice program as an emergency response to school closures

COVID-19 Financial Relief

March 27, 2020

Provided $50k in emergency relief checks to 50 Emerson Elementary and Rainier Beach HS families

Weekly Grocery Delivery

March 30, 2020

Began weekly grocery delivery to 40 families in the Rainier Beach neighborhood

Virtual Restorative Justice

May 23, 2020

Launched virtual RJ healing circles

Organizing to Remove SEO’s From Schools

June 3, 2020

Partnered with youth-led activist group Black Minds Matter and FEEST Seattle to apply pressure to Seattle School Board to permanently remove School Emphasis Officers (SEOs) from schools

Seattle School Board Permanently Removes SEO’s From Schools

June 24, 2020

Seattle School Board permanently removes SEO’s from schools and indefinitely ends their relationship with the Seattle Police Department due to youth and community applied pressure

The First Virtual Freedom Schools

July 6, 2020

Launched Freedom Schools virtually at Rainier Beach HS and Emerson Elementary

Financial Sponsorship of BMM

July 31, 2020

Became financial sponsor for youth-led activist group Black Minds Matter

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