2019 Fellows Projects
Lylianna Allala and Carrie Lee are working together on a project called Washington to Washington: A facilitated conversation with King County and U.S. House Member staff showcasing local climate action successes in Washington State and exploring lessons learned for federal action in Washington, D.C. The staff – staff exchange will focus on climate action priorities of the King County community and constituents including: renewable energy, vehicle electrification and public health. The purpose is to illuminate strategies from Washington State that could offer a model for federal action, as well as highlight critical gaps in local efforts that need federal support.
Marc Berger will focus on the importance of exposing young people to global issues and perspectives to help them form broader view of the world and spark their interest in engaging in international issues. Seattle has a rich community of schools, nonprofit organizations and civic groups that are focused on providing students access to global education. He intends to connect with a range of people and groups in this space to better understand the work that is being done, the obstacles that exist and where additional energy and expertise could provide value.
Monica Guzman will hold a storytelling event where people with surprising perspectives tell the personal biographical stories behind their beliefs. It would be called “How I came to believe…” and all the stories would be rooted not in platitudes or arguments, but lived experiences. It would explore the idea that our beliefs form naturally over the course of our lives, and encourage folks to strive to see the “why” behind folks’ convictions without judgment.
Leah Missik is profiling Russian environmental activists and will produce a series of articles about a variety of people, all of whom have garnered attention to their cause despite acting in a context that is often harsh to civil society and independent activism. These profiles, based on interviews and supplemental research, will tell the activists’ stories and elicit what they have learned from their work, how they have developed as people and as leaders, how they determine success, and how they maintain their spirits — points that are of use to activists today in the States and everywhere. Not only will these articles provide inspiration and knowledge to those engaged in activism, but they will also help environmentalists in Russian by drawing international attention to their causes.
Priya Saxena realized while growing up that there were few public servants who looked like her. This made her question where she would fit in promoting justice and equity for all. For her project, Priya will create an online bank of videos featuring women of color serving Washington State’s public. These videos will explore the leadership styles, lessons learned, and stories of resilience women of color hold. Priya’s hope is that these videos will not only amplify the stories of women of color who serve their communities but also serve as a resource and source of inspiration for young women of color who also dream of serving the public one day.
Jacob Thorpe will work with the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and other maritime organizations to create a roadmap that school districts in Washington can use to prepare their students for rewarding, family-wage jobs at sea. This roadmap will take the form of a report, drafted in collaboration with educators and seafaring organizations that will be made available to school districts and skills centers in Washington State. He hopes that this will expose students to the panoply of career paths available on Washington’s waters.
Emily Wittman will pick up where Professor Richard S. Kirkendall’s analysis in 1958 left off. His findings were published in a 1997 article “Two Senators and the Boeing Company: The Transformation of Washington’s Political Culture.” Kirkendall found that the modern voter far preferred civic leaders to work closely with major employers (Boeing) to create jobs than to attack them for the profitability and impact of their economic growth. Today, Seattle residents – and perhaps those in Amazon HQ2 cities – may contend otherwise. For her project, Emily will assess whether Washington’s political culture shifted once again during the second half of the 20th century. The study will continue to evaluate voter’s attitudes toward corporations and politicians with close relationships, with The Boeing Company as a case study. Kirkendall’s description of U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson as the “Senator from Boeing” will be updated through the remainder of the Senator’s service – challenging and contextualizing the perception. Once published, Emily’s insight will provide historical context for contemporary conversations on the political advantage of supporting – or challenging – the companies who drive the state’s economy and employ a majority of constituents.