Community Briefing on Beacon Hill Quantitative Air & Noise Study and Free Documentary Viewing with Popcorn

On February 29, El Centro de la Raza is hosting a public meeting at Centilia Cultural Center from 11 AM to 1 PM when Dr. Edmund Seto and Dr. Tim Larsen will brief community members on the results of the University of Washington’s Beacon Hill Quantitative Air & Noise Study. We strongly encourage guests to RSVP, but we will welcome all guests for the briefing at the door.

Amharic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Somali, Spanish, and Tigrinya interpreters will also be joining us. To request another language, please contact Maria Batayola via email at by February 23. Lunch will be served at noon during the table discussions regarding the next steps. Vegetarian choices are available, and guests are welcome to bring their own lunches. An accurate RSVP count will avoid over- or under-buying food.

Mil gracias to our concerned elected officials for their support in making this study possible: Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, former Council Chair for Sustainability and Transportation Mike O’Brien, and former Councilmember Bruce Harrell.

Also, throughout the day, we will also be featuring three free viewings of Beacon Arts’ documentary “Blue Sky Trails” at Centilia Cultural Center in honor of the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. There will be three showings: 10 AM, 1 PM, and 2 PM. In addition, there will be an opportunity to meet with the Beacon Hill Arts activists between showings. RSVP now and make sure you help yourself to free popcorn before settling to watch the documentary.

Unidos @ Work and Highline College Prepare Students for the Workforce

Highline College and El Centro de la Raza have partnered to help Highline College students earn credits through our Unidos @ Work 7-week course at our Federal Way location. As housing affordability issues have led to a shift in demographics, this course provides job training, digital literacy skills, employment assistance, and supportive services for bilingual program participants looking to enter the workforce. As Unidos @ Work graduate Luis Guarnis said, “We are working with Excel, PowerPoint, software, and Internet. [These tools are] very helpful and ha[ve] changed a part of my life.”

The next cohort for the Unidos @ Work program begins on March 2, and we have some exciting news to share! Upon participants’ completion, they are eligible for a total of 22 credits:

+ Cert – OS and Hardware Fundamentals (5 credits)
MOS – Outlook – Microsoft Outlook (2 credits)
MOS – Word – Microsoft Word (2 credits)
MOS – Power Point – Microsoft Power point (3 credits)
MOS – Excel – Microsoft Excel (5 credits)
MOS – Access – Microsoft Access (5 credits)

For more information, click to read the flyer in English and Español. Please feel free to contact Juan Pablo Castellanos via email at or by phone at 360-986-7017.

Recap: Federal Way Open House Event

Elected officials and supporters of the Beloved Community who want to see communities thrive by providing culturally appropriate programs and services in South King County. From left to right: Auburn City Councilmember Chris Stearns, Representative Mike Pellicciotti, Senator Claire Wilson, Representative Bill Ramos, Estela Ortega, Mayor Jim Ferell, Joseph Martin, Representative Jesse Johnson, Miguel Maestas, Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos, and Mayor Nancy Backus.

On February 7, about 300 people attended our Open House event in Federal Way. We opened our latest location in Federal Way because 56% of Latinos who live in King County live in the southend where there is a lack of culturally appropriate programs and services. We are responding to that gap as a result of the shift in demographics. We are providing 17 different programs and services out of this new office including services for veterans, small business development, workforce training, and home visiting programs for parents and their young children.

Our role as El Centro de la Raza is to work with our community, friends, and allies at building a fair and just society by promoting life-changing programs, culture, and community engagement. Dr. King would call that the building of the Beloved Community. Our community will become stronger because the families and individuals who walk through our doors in Federal Way and are seeking support will be uplifted to work towards achieving stability and resiliency. “We will work very hard to be good neighbors with our values of fairness and equality to continue to work at building Dr. King’s Beloved Community,” said Executive Director Estela Ortega.

Mil gracias to our speakers and supporters: Joseph Martin, Senator Claire Wilson, Representative Mike Pellicciotti, Auburn City Councilmember Chris Stearns, Representative Jesse Johnson, Mayor of Federal Way Jim Ferell, Mayor of Auburn Nancy Backus, Unidos @ Work program participants Vanessa Enamorado and Luis Guarnis, Rudy Reyes, Verizon’s Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the Western Region, and Jennifer Chastain, Community Relations Manager at Bank of America.

Also, special thanks to Senator Claire Wilson, Representative Mike Pellicciotti, former Representative Kristine Reeves, Speaker Emeritus Frank Chopp, Senator David Frockt, Representative Steve Tharinger, and King County Councilmember Peter von Reichbauer. Each person listed here supported El Centro de la Raza’s response to the lack of culturally appropriate programs and services in South King County by helping us purchase an office building in Federal Way.

Finally, thanks to KING 5 News and Federal Way Mirror for their coverage of our successful Open House event.