For this special summer 2021 section, we asked an array of notable locals what they were looking forward to going/seeing/doing this summer.
Michelle Merriweather, Community Advocate
Powerhouse community organizer Michelle Merriweather puts her diverse background in sales and marketing to use as the President of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, a position she’s held since 2018. The Urban League strives to empower underserved communities in five key areas: education, workforce development, health, housing and policy. Originally from Los Angeles, Michelle was a trailblazer early on, serving as the first woman president of LA’s Urban League Young Professionals. As a leader, Michelle’s north star has been the thoughtful words of civil rights leader Whitney M. Young: “I am not anxious to be the loudest voice or the most popular, but I would like to think that at a crucial moment, I was an effective voice for the voiceless, and effective hope for the hopeless.” Now, as Michelle leads the Urban League towards its 90th anniversary, she continues to make crucial strides towards improving life for Black communities across the Seattle area.
A new Black-owned Business in First Hill
Boon Boona Coffee started in Renton and now has a location on 12th Ave. and Cherry. There is so much to love about this place, from their deep-rooted sustainable relationships with growers in African nations, to the community environment in the café. Not to mention, they provide crucial community resources to groups such as King County Libraries and Washington Healthplanfinder.
Old favorites in a new location
I am so excited to have lunch with the Urban League team at the new Catfish Corner and Simply Soulful outposts, both opening new locations at 23rd and Jackson this summer. Catfish Corner Express is a family business providing fresh catfish with a Southern flair. It has been a staple in this city for over 30 years. Simply Soulful’s recipes have been passed down from generation to generation. Make sure to try a sweet potato pie!
I can’t wait to get some of my favorite self-care products at Queencare, which now has a flagship location at 23rd and Jackson. These handcrafted products feel so luxurious. I also love that a portion of the proceeds benefit youth programming in the King County area.
Books & community
I’m looking forward to catching a featured author and finding a great book at Estelita’s Library. This bookstore/library is wonderful for sharing space, community, and knowledge with great people.
“Dear Sista, I See You” exhibition at WOW Gallery
I am so excited for the opening of the WOW Gallery’s “Dear Sista, I See You” exhibit at Pacific Place. This is a long-time vision of the tremendously talented local artist Hiawatha D and his visionary wife and partner Veronica. Their story is a wonder, and I can’t wait to see it come alive.
Art across town
I am thrilled to go see the “Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem” exhibit at the Frye Museum. This exhibit presents nearly a century of creative achievements by artists of African descent. I am also excited about “A Multi-Night Event of New Play Readings by BIPOC Women Writers” at Seattle Public Theater and “Gary Simmons: The Engine Room” at the Henry Art Gallery.
Meals with friends
I’m looking forward to enjoying brunch or dinner with friends at some of the greatest restaurants in the world: Marjorie or Communion. These world-class chefs put a twist on my favorite dishes that are absolutely delicious!