Residents discuss hard topics in effort to grow together

Maple Valley leaders host a “Black and White” panel

A unique event attracted over 100 people to Summit Trail Middle School with the hopes of engaging in thoughtful conversation about some not-so-easy topics.

The “Black and White” educational event was held on Saturday, Dec. 7, to help coach a conversation about African American history and culture. Some of the conversation questions included;

•Why does the “N” word offend African Americans? What is the root?

•How does racism effect the school districts?

•What is colorism and how does it effect the community?

•How can we grow together as a community and break the cycles?

The question and answer panel included;

•Shavonne Brooks

•Aaron Brooks – A 10-year NBA veteran

•Loyal Allen Jr. – Association Dean of Student Funding Services at Highline College

•Creseta Simmons – A geriatric nurse practitioner and clinical nurse manager.

•Sherise Wilcher – A Tahoma High School alum and Maple Valley resident.

•Lieutenant Jameel Andrews

•Deshawnte Dancer – Attorney at Law

•Colina Bruce – Director of Education Partnerships for Seattle University Youth Initiative.

•Claiborne Bell – Owner of Seattle Sorbets.

“We want to give a special thanks to the event creator and organizer, Shavonne Brooks,” Coordinator Alicia Busch stated in an email to the Reporter. “She and her amazing daughter, MiKah are the reason this conversation happened. They are truly inspiring and change makers.”

A video of the panel can viewed on

Busch stated the group is planning future discussions after the success of this event.

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