Represent! 98118 on Oct. 5th: A Day in the Life of America’s Most Diverse Zip Code

“Represent! 98118” Seeks Documentarians, Donors:

Help Chronicle “A Day in the Life of 98118”

On October 5, 2011, scores of writers, photographers, filmmakers, artists and students will spend the day documenting life in America’s most diverse zip code in an event called “Represent! 98118”.

Writer and Educator Nancy Rawles dreamed up “Represent! 98118” after she realized she didn’t know what it meant to live in 98118, which has been named “the most diverse zip code in America” based on U.S. Census Bureau data. As a steering committee member for Represent! 98118, I hope you will join us on Wednesday, October 5th to find answers to that question. Together, we can help create a self-portrait of a culturally rich community.

We hope you will join us by lending your talents and ideas and by spreading the word to your friends and neighbors. Anyone interested in documenting life in 98118 on that day is welcome to sign up at Children and youth are encouraged to participate but must have permission from parents and teachers. Area schools are invited to participate at any level.

“This project is definitely about celebrating diversity, but that’s not all there is to it,” said organizer Paul Nelson, the executive director of SPLAB, a nonprofit poetry and performance center based in Columbia City. “We chose the word “Represent!” rather than “Celebrate!” because the emphasis is on showing and noticing who’s here.”

Events are being planned at different venues throughout the 98118, but a complete list will not be available until September. 98118 includes Brighton, Columbia City, Genesee, Graham, Hillman City, Lakewood, New Holly, Othello, Pritchard Beach, Rainier Beach, Seward Park and South Beacon Hill.

If you have a public event planned for October 5th, please let us know. If you’d like to plan an event and link it to “A Day in the Life of 98118,” please contact us. Both “Represent! 98118” and SPLAB welcome donations to further this effort.

“Represent! 98118”is sponsored by the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods. Donations of time, money, materials, and services are needed for everything from printing posters and providing equipment to mentoring youth and feeding volunteers. Businesses and organizations can sponsor artists, provide space for exhibits and performances, offer membership or service discounts on October 5th, and donate money for mailings.

© 2013 Kristen Millares Young.