RB B2SB Reflection

By Danielle Jackson

 

As I sit here looking out my window and watching the clouds move into these amazing shapes of art. I’m reflecting on what to write about in this article. My first thought is, why was the RB B2SB created, and what is its purpose? Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) did a survey and learned that youth felt disconnected from their community and school. So RBAC wanted to create a space that inspires youth about education and a place to receive community resources for their families. The purpose has always been to affirm the greatness within each child and address social barriers they must face when learning. I would say not just learning but living. Living in quality affordable housing, having equitable educational opportunities, community libraries with culturally diverse reading material, community centers with relevant programming, access and options to quality health care, and access to healthier foods in our grocery stores and restaurants. The struggle is real, y’all, and we know first-hand that the south end doesn’t have the resources or money that the north end has.  Now that’s the HAVE and HAVE NOTS for you.

 

One of the things that I have observed and learned working at RBAC is that the staff and volunteers here truly, genuinely, and intentionally strive to connect with the community. They value the education and well-being of this neighborhood, and they bring the community together to build a neighborhood the neighbors what to see and want.

 

At the RB B2SB, they are not just providing basic needs of the community, but they use this event to listen to what the community wants their neighborhood to look like. It’s a place where the young and the old can be who they are, demonstrating and expressing their T.A.G.S. (talents, abilities, gifts, and skills) through music, dance, poetry, song, working, and volunteering in areas they desire to serve in their community.

 

Families have been gentrified out of the neighborhood. The children, youth, young adults, and their families come to grab a backpack filled with supplies, eat some lunch, obtain some resources, play games, and do various activities. When I say, we have the most talented people in and from the neighborhood to bring us entertainment through dance, music, song, poetry, and more. There are also some patient, creative people who come to play games and set up some fun activities. It shows that it takes the village to make this event successful. Anytime you come to the RB B2SB, you are guaranteed to see someone you haven’t seen in years; it’s like coming to a family (community) reunion.

 

For years RBAC has served many families from near and far with not just backpacks, resources, and entertainment. They have formed partnerships with schools, elective officials, artists, entertainers, the city, government, non-profits, churches, businesses, and organizations in the community. Over the past 19 years, it’s too many to remember. I’m afraid I will forget to give a shout-out and be charged for it. What’s that saying? Charge it to my head, not to my heart (smile). Some long-life reputable relationships have been built through this annual event. We appreciate everyone who has and continues to support our efforts to serve this community through the RB B2SB, and we are grateful beyond words.

 

If you’re interested in participating in any way at the 19th Annual RB B2SB on August 20, 2022, at 12-4 pm, located at the Rainier Beach Plaza on Rainier Avenue South & South Henderson  Street, please contact Danielle Jackson at 206-518-7444 or danielle@rbactioncoalition.org. For more information, go to https://www.rbcoalition.org/back2school-bash-sponsorship-information/

 

Next year, in 2023, we will host the 20th Rainier Beach Back2School Bash. It’s going to be a reunion you don’t want to miss. We need a team to assist with designing and creating a memoir book to celebrate the years of serving this community and the partnerships, volunteers, and community that helped make it happen. What was the first year you participated or attended the RB B2SB?

Come one, come all, we can’t do these events without YOU!

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