“Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.” 

— John Lewis

Sharayah Lane on Sankofa Impact

As a Black and Indigenous woman, Sankofa Impact changed my life. Simply put, there is nothing like this organization. Sankofa Impact provides a learning experience so deep that it must be felt and experienced in order to fully understand it. Growing up on the reservation in my Native American family and community, learning and understanding my history as an African-American was so important. Learning through traditional methods like books and school alone was insufficient.

I am from a culture where oral history is invaluable. Having had the chance to learn from leaders and elders who can best tell their own stories and to learn in the places where history happened has forever changed me. This is the heart of Sankofa Impact. Going to the American South and hearing from the human beings who lived our collective history is something that I wish every American had the opportunity to experience. The transformation in one’s heart by learning in this way is unique and the impact is long lasting.

It is an honor to have been a part of this organization for the past 7 years as a staff member, board member, and community supporter and I look forward to continuing to support Sankofa Impact throughout my life and learning journey.


Shout Outs

  • Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party Legacy Committee for being dynamic partners and for everything yet to come.
  • DuSable, EJI, NCRM, IAAM for being such consummate hosts for our recent SCBPPLC trip.
  • Ed Taylor, Valerie Hunt, and Kathryn Pursch Cornforth for forming the mighty teaching team on our summer journey.
  • Kamari Bright for being awarded the 2024 Arts Innovator Award.
  • Omari Amili for his work with Husky Post Prison Pathways
  • Mosea Addo for graduating from the University of Washington.  
  • Isis Ishino-Amen for graduating from the University of Washington.   
  • Our RCB Community for graduating from the University of Washington.   
  • Myron Curry for his new mural in Rainier Beach. 
  • GiveBIG Donors for lending your support to our mission of creating more every activists, our deepest thanks. 

Coffee x Vinyl

We appreciate everyone who has visited our office space over the last few months to take part in our newest program, Coffee x Vinyl! We love connecting with our community, hearing your updates, and having a cup of coffee while listening to great music. 

Join us for future Coffee x Vinyl sessions on the last Thursday of every month. Our next session will be on June 27th, from 10am-1pm. We will be listening to Wattstax: The Living Word. As always, we will be brewing Black-owned Campfire Coffee, or feel free to bring your own 12 oz. cup from Boon Boona

We hope to see you there!

Seattle Black Panther Party Legacy

Sankofa Impact entered a new partnership with the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party Legacy Committee. This collaboration brought members of the Legacy Committee on a foundational site exploration trip which leveraged Sankofa Impact’s place-based learning approach in fostering community, confronting the unvarnished truth, and inspiring everyday activism. The group traveled to sites in Chicago, Memphis, Montgomery, and Charleston over the course of a week in early June to learn and build critical relationships.

The primary goal of this trip and partnership is for the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party Legacy Committee to see and experience other sites to inform what features, exhibits, architecture, and design considerations should go into the creation of the Seattle Black Panther Party Interpretive Center

Honors: American South – Summer 2024

Sankofa Impact is partnering with the University of Washington’s Honors Program to provide a month-long immersive Pilgrimage to the South this June through July! Beginning in Houston, TX and traveling through 9 Southern states to reach Washington DC, this journey will explore the concept of sankofa as the group visits key places in the Black-American freedom struggle and spends time with foot soldiers who lived history, as well as, movement leaders making history today.

This journey will explore over 400 years of history including the eras of enslavement, racial terrorism, civil rights, mass incarceration, and abolition activism. Participants will visit spaces that center Black joy, resistance, and culture, engaging along the way in the practice of leadership and growth toward everyday activism. 

Tulsa: Rest and Reparations

Last year, Sankofa Impact conducted a small-scale trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma to visit and research the events of the Tulsa massacre in 1921. The trip was conducted by Felicia Ishino and Nathan Bean for community members, Lester and Holly Hartman. The journey was requested by the Hartman’s, as an illness has begun to significantly hinder Lester’s ability to travel. A trip to Tulsa to wrestle with the legacy of the massacre was something that he felt passionate about and Sankofa Impact was proud to walk with him in this endeavor.

The experience was powerful. We had coffee every morning at the Black-owned Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge. There, we set the agenda for the day and built community among our small group of travelers. On our first day we took a walking tour of the historic Greenwood neighborhood, once a bustling community, now reduced to a single block. Unavoidable was the sound and fury of interstate highway I-244, which runs right through the heart of Greenwood. This is an all too common scene in too many urban Black communities. 

My Pilgrimage to the South

In 2022, Sankofa Impact was proud to organize, facilitate, and lead the CHOOSE180 staff and Seattle Seahawks football team on our Pilgrimage to the South. Recently, our dear friend Tascha Johnson, CHOOSE 180 Associate Executive Director, wrote about her experience.

Just as the world was working its way, “back to normal,” our staff had the opportunity to make a pilgrimage with the leadership of Sankofa Impact, a Seattle-based organization that focuses on place-based learning, intentionally centering the stories of the Black American freedom struggle in the South. The trip was of importance for me because having an understanding that we have made progress, though it may not seem like it, is a reminder of the sacrifices and struggle for freedom that so many have made. It brought history alive.

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments.