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MOHAI Community Conversations

Cities continuously evolve, just as Seattle and greater Puget Sound are currently demographic, social, economic, and cultural changes. The Community Conversations program series fosters dialogue between city, business, historians, community leaders, and local residents who are impacted by these changes in a town hall format. Conversations draw on lessons from the past and analysis of the present to discuss the possibilities for the future.

Watch these Community Conversations, then discuss topics with peers about these issues facing Seattle, King County, Puget Sound, and Washington State.

Continuing Community Conversations

Community Conversation: Immigrant Life in Uncertain Times

King County’s immigrants and refugees have made significant contributions to our region’s creative spirit, culture, and economy. But for many, there is now fear and uncertainty as the government begins to limit immigration and crackdown on the undocumented and sanctuary cities like Seattle. Enrique Cerna moderates an important community conversation about the challenges and concerns in Puget Sound’s immigrant communities.

Panelists include:

Maru Mora Villalpando, Latino Advocacy

Simon Okelo, Founder, One Vibe Africa

Lola Zakharova, Immigration Attorney; Member, King County Immigration and Refugee Task Force

Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director, MAPS-AMEN (American Muslim Empowerment Program)

Gentrification: How Is It Changing the Identity of Seattle and King County?

This important community conversation examined the rapidly changing demographics of the Puget Sound region. Moderator Enrique Cerna guided a discussion on gentrification through a variety of lenses including race, housing, economics, and public health.

Panelists include:

  • Pat Wright, Founder and Director, Total Experience Gospel Choir
  • Knute Berger, Author, Crosscut.com
  • Adrienne Quinn, King County Director of Community and Human Services
  • Sam Assefa, Director, City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development

The Heroin Epidemic

This Community Conversation examined the region’s growing heroin and prescription opiate epidemic. In King County, more people now enter detox for heroin than they do for alcohol. Families are being devastated as the number of opiate-related deaths has tripled since 2009. What must be done to address this growing epidemic?

Enrique Cerna moderated a discussion among panelists and community members, including:

  • Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecutor
  • Penny Legate, founder of the Marah Project
  • Dr. Caleb-Banta Green of the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute
  • Molly Carney, Executive Director of Evergreen Treatment Services
Generous support from
In partnership with King County TV

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