I started the series Seattle Community Leaders because I felt welcomed by the African American community when I was going through a very hard time in my own life. I learned about injustices in Seattle while listening to stories told by people sitting next to me. As an international student, I thought about the history I’d learned in school concerning the civil rights movement in American and about systematic racism. Learning firsthand about the horrible personal hardships experienced by people of color in Seattle inspired this project. I wanted to use photography as a platform to be in service of the community that helped me so much and brought me back to life.
I first reached out to Professor Livingston, who teaches at Seattle Central College and is also a Pastor at Kingdom Christian Center. Professor Livingston was my Political Science teacher back in 2015. He introduced me to his community and has since connected me to Mr. John Yasutake, Mrs. Dawn Mason, and Mr. Gabriel Prawl. Mr. Yasutake then lead me to Mrs. Dorothy Cordova.
I interviewed and shadowed these leaders at multiple events and realized how they are bridges within diverse communities – physically connecting people through their work and passing their knowledge and wisdom to the next generation. People will fight together when there is respect or love for each other. The community leaders in this series have known and worked together for years. They are leaders who unite people for a bigger cause.
The fight for equity in Washington State has been long and continues. The work of Professor Livingston, Mrs. Mason, Mr. Prawl, Mr. Yasutake, and Mrs. Cordova exemplify the leadership we will need going forward to end racial injustice. Their generosity, knowledge and wisdom create a roadmap for future generations to follow.
AUTHOR: Tzu Hung (John) Huang TAIWAN
John Huang (Huang Tzu-Hung) is born and raised in Taiwan. He is a college senior at Seattle University. He is a black and white photographer focusing on documenting the cultural and social ecosystems in cities to show the beauty and value that he saw. His work has been shown at Atelier Drome (Seattle), Center on Contemporary Art (Seattle), Phinney Center Gallery (Seattle), and Photographic Center Northwest (Seattle). He is a finalist in 2020 Communication Arts Photography Competition, Student Work Category.
Besides photography, John has interned and worked part-time for THE NEW ORDER Magazine (Tokyo), Seattle University Undergraduate Research Journal (Seattle), Center on Contemporary Art (Seattle), Oneday Co. Select Shop (Taipei), The Big Issue Taiwan (Taipei), Unicorn Project Reading Studio (Taipei), and Oneday Magazine (Taipei).