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Honor Our Queens: Giving homage and healing to Black women and mothers

Winston Constable joined the Umoja (Kiswahili for “unity”) scholar program here at Seattle Central in the fall of 2022 because he wanted to be part of a community that assists struggling students of color and has been a regular member ever since. Over time, Constable has received guidance and counseling from the Umoja faculty and made connections with his fellow members. He was even able to attend their annual conference in San Francisco in November. 

Constable’s participation in past Umoja workshops and discussions led to his public speaking skills being recognized by faculty member and assistant director of cohort learning programs, James Robinson, who offered him an opportunity to host his workshop.

Constable decided to use this opportunity to pay homage to Black women by hosting an upcoming workshop called “Honor Our Queens” on May 7. Constable believes that Black women at Seattle Central don’t get enough appreciation and are unaware of the programs and clubs like the Black Student Union (BSU) or Umoja. When asked what people can expect from the workshop, Constable replied, “They can be looking forward to being educated on Black women and their issues and to having good free food, beverages, gift bags, and a good sense of community.”

There will also be what is called a “porch talk,” an open-ended discussion where everyone is free to participate and dedicated to how we, as students and faculty, can help Black women in the community. 

Constable plans to emphasize the concept of recovery and transformation as a response to oppression along with offering information on resources available on campus to further help them during Honor Our Queens. 

“Basically, we are trying to restore and transform the sisters in the community and give them the help, guidance, support, or anything they need, especially from Black folks,” Constable explained. “The other goal is also to give black women their props and I feel like it will be a good note that it is coming from a Black man that is saying these good things about them.” 

Umoja has been supporting this workshop every step of the way, with faculty assisting with space and catering. Umoja student leader Aminah Gradney also assisted by designing the flier for the event. 

Umoja Community

Although Constable is graduating this year, he plans to stay in contact with his Umoja community. He hopes that Honor Our Queens will become an annual event after he is gone. “My roots will always be in Umoja, and I plan on keeping them by telling other people about it and attending conferences,” said Constable. 

He also explains how his experience with Umoja and the Honor Our Queens conference will affect him after graduation: “It will give me a new framework of how I want to navigate the world as an African American.”

Constable wishes to use African history to change the African American narrative amongst the youth and to break down the stigma of African Americans not wanting to seek mental health services by becoming a therapist. 

When asked what he wants people to take away from his workshop, Constable responded, “I want people to take away from the workshop the concept that Black women are needed, Black women are loved, and Black women should be supported.” 

The “Honor Our Queens” workshop will take place in BE3201 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Angelo Harper

Angelo Harper is a first year student at Seattle Central College perusing his AA degree for Journalism. Born in Seattle and raised in Shoreline, He wrote for his high school newspaper for two years before graduating and on the side he likes to write rhymes and perform under the stage name “Lil Fax Machine” where he has collaborated with local artists from the Seattle area on several tracks and a few music videos.

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