Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Supporting SPS Families in Need

In a remarkably short amount of time, SPS families from several different NE schools, via Soup for Teacher's heroic, Liza Rankin, have organized family gift bags for every family that lives at the Sand Point Housing campus of Solid Ground, Brettler Family Place.  That is where Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of four,  was gunned down on Sunday by SPD officers responding to her call about a burglary. 

There is a GoFundme page for Ms Lyles' family.  The page has raised over $80,000 so far.

Here's one message at the Soup for Teachers Facebook page:


Thanks for taking this on, Liza Rankin, and for all of the volunteers and those who have contributed. We thank you with all of our hearts! -Karen Stukovsky, SPE PTA co-President

I just want to gently point out the irony of this huge effort by people from several different NE schools in contrast to the image put forth by the recent KUOW story on several NE schools.  

No group is monolithic and casting doubt - on any one group of people, whether by race or region - is really not fair and, of course, very likely to be untrue.

We need to rise up to believe in each other and lift all boats.  Just as this remarkable group of people is doing.


Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Liza Rankin and a large contingent of Seattle families demonstrate generous community- mindedness. They have made that clear many times over.

Why do you have the need to try to conflate their efforts and outcomes with the reality that the KUOW story rightly and necessarily exposed?

Selfishness and racism certainly co-exist within the borders of kindness.

Please don't use this tragedy as an excuse to be an apologist.

Delete Me?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm not apologizing for anything. I'm pointing out the disconnect.

Anonymous said...

Delete me, I have to say....you sound like a dog chasing its tail.

MoveON

Anonymous said...

Maybe the "shaming" the white families got from KUOW created the "irony" of them being so empathetic and generous.

maybe baby

Anonymous said...

@ maybe baby: wow! You can't win if you do, you can't win if you don't.

There's no irony, just different people with different experiences and viewpoints. The quotes in the kuow story were real, but the people helping orchestrate donations and support would do the same regardless of the shaming and people lurking in the shadows of social media waiting to cast blame and hatred.

Fortunately, many people sincerely want to help. I am thankful for people in our community--like Liza of Soup for Teachers or parents serving on school PTA's--who's efforts make it possible for others to contribute as much or little as anyone has time and/or resources to give.

Be kind

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, that was a very unkind thing to say. Some of you continue to do this thing of painting groups with one paintbrush, almost with glee.

I apologize to Liza and the many good, decent people who rose up selflessly from this tragedy to help not just the family involved, but every single family who lives in that housing.

Adan said...

1. Liza is a gem and I look forward to hopefully voting for her for school board in about 10-15 years. Once her kids are a little older and she has time for those sorts of things. I have no idea how she finds the time to do everything she does now, but I have tremendous admiration for the fact that she does find the time and does visit and help out so many schools. And testify at school board meetings and always slip in a kind word about the awesome and varied student performances she sees. Love her. She makes me proud.

2. One of the NE schools that contributed to this effort quickly, decisively and generously hasn't even opened yet. Now there's organization.

3. Although having transitional housing near SPE may have lowered their test scores by changing their student demographics, it is wonderful to have so many low income families able to live right there in and among neighborhoods with extremely swanky mansions and super fancy lake views and money to hire landscapers and such. You can be darned sure that if Charleena Lyles had lived 10 blocks south or west of where she did, the police would NEVER have shot her. But I hope that many of the people who live in Seattle who don't want our police force to behave this way will write letters to the mayor now. And the city council. And the police. And tell them just that. And this is one way forward for Seattle public schools. Affordable housing in every neighborhood geozone will bring diversity to all schools. And that will improve outcomes for underserved students and will widen the world views and enrichen the friendships and learning opportunities of not-underserved students. And it's OK with the supreme court.

4. If you'd like to tell the mayor what you think about how our police are doing, please do!