Artists Inye Wokoma & Sharita Towne

Celebrating Black History Month with Wa Na Wari

Seattle Foundation Headquarters features artists from community organization, Wa Na Wari

Advancing racial equity is part of Seattle Foundation’s daily commitment and central to our mission to ignite powerful and rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all.

By listening to and acting on findings from local community members, Seattle Foundation has evolved our philanthropic framework to align more with community needs and priorities. Specifically, over the past two years, we have intentionally increased grants to Black-led community organizations working at the grassroots level to affect change.

One way of listening to the community is hearing first-hand about the downsides of gentrification. Gentrification is widespread in Seattle’s Central District, where Black people lived for decades because they were prevented from living in other neighborhoods due to racial discrimination. With rising costs of housing and other factors, many long-time residents can no longer afford to live there and have been pushed out of the neighborhood their families have called home for generations.

Wa Na Wari Exhibit at Seattle Foundation Headquarters
wanawari-logoTo increase awareness about this urgent issue facing Black communities, Seattle Foundation is featuring in its exhibit space, artists from local community organizationWa Na Wari. Seattle Foundation has supported Wa Na Wari since it formed in 2019 with funding through the Pilot Project and Communities of Opportunity Initiative.

Wa Na Wari which means “Our Home” in Kalabari, a language spoken in Nigeria, is self-described as a “5th-generation Black-owned home in Seattle’s Central District that creates space for Black ownership, possibility, and belonging through art, historic preservation, and connection amid the context of increasing gentrification in a neighborhood that was once 80% Black.” To learn more, watchVanishing Seattle – Wa Na Wari.

Wa Na Wari Reception Featuring Artists Inye Wokoma & Sharita Towne, Feb. 27
nTo celebrate Black History Month, on Feb. 27, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Seattle Foundation will host a reception at our headquarters with Wa Na Wari featured artists Inye Wokoma and Sharita Towne. To participate, register here.