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Africatown's Wyking Garrett makes Seattle Times Essential List of Influential People of the Decade.

K. Wyking Garrett’s organization, Africatown, partnered in the development of the Liberty Bank Building in Seattle’s Central District. (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Originally published in the Seattle Times.

By Seattle Times Staff

Few Seattle neighborhoods underwent as much change in the past decade as the Central District, and few activists were more vocal in addressing gentrification there than K. Wyking Garrett.

Garrett’s Africatown organization partnered with Capitol Hill Housing on the Liberty Bank Building that opened in March and struck an agreement to codevelop Africatown Plaza through a community land trust.

The decade saw long-term economic and demographic trends continue in the neighborhood that for decades was the heart of the city’s black community, where housing costs have risen and Black residents are now in the minority. But Garrett responded by helping to organize community events and to support Black tech entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, the Liberty Bank Building and Africatown Plaza, across the street from each other near 23rd Avenue and East Union Street, represent about 250 affordable apartments meant for displaced households.

Click here to donate to the good works of Africatown Community Land Trust

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