Opinion | John Lewis | Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation

By Mr. Lewis, the civil rights leader who died on July 17, wrote this essay shortly before his death, to be published upon the day of his funeral.

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.


John Lewis, the civil rights leader and congressman who died on July 17, wrote this essay shortly before his death.

Written in the New York times:

City of Seattle Interdepartmental Meeting – TAS Updates

Fernando Martinez, President and CEO, and Zavere Weeks, Program Assistant of the Northwest Mountain MSDC met with the City of Seattle to discuss the Technical Assistance Program. Please find the presentation linked below.

City of Seattle Interdepartmental Meeting

Interested in joining TAS program? Contact Zavere Weeks at: (253) 243-6964 or email: TAS@nwmmsdc.org

Northwest Mountain MSDC Recognizes Excellence in Performance

NORTHWEST MOUNTAIN MSDC RECOGNIZES EXCELLENCE IN PERFORMANCE

The Northwest Mountain MSDC recognizes excellence in performance annually. On Friday, June 26, 2020, the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (Northwest Mountain MSDC) recognized organizations and individuals that excel at advocating, promoting, and contracting with Minority Business Enterprises. The 2019 Award Winners are:

Advocacy Awards: Presented to individuals who exemplify an unselfish commitment to Minority Business Enterprise Development.

John A. Gilmore Award: Matt Iseri, TokuSaku Consulting

Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney Award: Javier Valdez, State Representative and Roger Millar, WA State Department of Transportation

Robert L. Ryan Award: Catherine Martin, J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation

Leadership Awards:  Presented to Minority Business Enterprises that deliver excellence in performance and value to private or public sector customers.

Class 1 Supplier – Annual Revenues up to $1M dollars: Humbition Consulting, LLC

Class 2 Supplier – Annual Revenues between $1M – $10M dollars: Ahora Construction, LLC

Class 3 Supplier – Annual Revenues between $10M – $50M dollars: Viking Engineering + Construction

Class 4 Supplier – Annual Revenues above $50M: World Wide Technology, Inc.

Leadership Awards: Presented to the Public Agency and Private Sector Corporations that commit to the practice of Minority Business Enterprise inclusion.

Public Agency of the year: University of Washington

National Corporation of the year: Starbucks Corporation

Partnership Awards:  Presented to the organization that has, over a period of time, collaborated, supported, and participated in the growth and development of the Northwest Mountain MSDC.

Partnership of the Year: University of Washington Consulting and Business Development Center

Partnership of the Year: TRIO Group

President’s Award: Presented to the individual that supports the Northwest Mountain MSDC in an outstanding manner throughout the year without expectation of recognition.

Chi Y. Pak, T-Mobile USA, Inc.

Title Sponsor Award: Presented to the organization that has assumed leadership for underwriting all Northwest Mountain MSDC major events.

Title Sponsor Award: T-Mobile USA, Inc.

Congratulations to all our Award Winners!

About the Council

Founded in 1978, the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to drive economic value by equalizing opportunities.  As an affiliate of the National MSDC, the Council certifies minority owned businesses and provides access to supplier development, supply chain inclusion, networking events and formal introductions. The Council serves the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

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Strategies to Assist Employees Affected by Coronavirus Disease

As we face hardships from the Coronavirus Pandemic, it is necessary to support our teams. Below are some tips for employers to share with their staff regarding things to think about as we move forward in combating these new and unprecedented challenges. Thank you to Tim Otani of Union Bank and NWMMSDC board member for the valuable pointers.

Strategies to Assist Employees Affected by Coronavirus Disease

Visit your State Sites for updated information and support:

Employees should visit Sallie Mae for student loan support:

Sallie Mae Student Loans: 3-month COVID-19 forbearance.  Call (800) 472-5543 and when prompted verbally reply “COVID-19.”  System will provide you with the information and place COVID-19 forbearance on your loan.

Dealing With Coronavirus Anxiety: Expert Tips
https://www.psychology.org/resources/expert-tips-coronavirus-anxiety/

Quinault Solutions a NWMMSDC MBE Highlight

The Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council is pleased to highlight Quinault Solutions (QS) based in Hoquiam, Washington. QS, a Native led certified MBE sourcing company specializing in the supply of U.S. sourced, environmentally friendly copy and printing papers, is one of several enterprises of the Quinault Indian Nation.

QS is a tier two supply source and does not sell directly to end users.  QS sells copy and printing paper through fulfillment distribution partners.

“We partner with well-managed, financially strong, environmentally conscious, reliable suppliers, and service vendors ensuring high quality at competitive pricing.  We are often asked if we would have enough supply to support our largest national customers, and the answer is YES!” says Nelson Dan, QS General Manager.

Quinault Solutions partners with U.S. based paper manufacturers and distributors to help end users achieve their customer satisfaction goals.  Nelson Dan states, “One of our strengths is that we can work directly through our customer’s current supplier.  Our customers can achieve their diverse purchasing goals without changing suppliers. It truly is a win for all involved.”

“The Quinault Indian Nation wants to grow its businesses; however, we want to make sure the impact we have on our environment is positive.  We are excited to offer environmentally friendly paper from NORPAC Paper in Longview, WA.  NORPAC is the maker of the Natural Choice line of papers.  The Natural Choice paper is competitively priced, and compared to traditional copy paper has 92% less impact on the earth, 74% less waste to landfill, 44% less CO², 47% less water used and 44% less impact on human health,” says Nelson Dan.

Mr. Dan states, “As we grow our list of partners across the United States, we are proud of the work we are doing and the impact we have on our local Tribe, our business partners and a positive effect on our environment. Together we make a difference.”

For more information on how you can partner with Quinault Solutions, visit their website at www.quinaultsolutions.com or call Quinault Solutions directly at 360-538-5656.

NWMMSDC Attends the 2019 UW Impact Awards

The Council had a great time attending this year’s University of Washington Impact Awards at the Westin in Seattle on December 5th.

The Center celebrated its first 25 years by recognizing 25 individuals and corporations who have been essential to the success of the program. Congratulations to the evening’s honorees recognized for the impact they have made in growing businesses and jobs in under served communities across WA and accelerating students’ careers.

Special shout-out to our Council President, Fernando Martinez, recognized for the impact he has had over the years through his partnership with the UW Consulting & Business Development Center!

The Council supported the event as a gold table sponsor, with proceeds helping fund UW’s Student Consulting Programs. To learn more about the Consulting and Business Development Center, click here.

137th Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce hosted their 137th Annual Meeting September 19th at the Westin Hotel in Seattle. The luncheon included guest speakers Marilyn Strickland, President and CEO of the Seattle Metro Chamber, Gary Locke, former Washington state governor, Diana Birkett Rakow, Vice President of External Relations at Alaska Airlines and Hon. Jenny Durkan, Mayor of City of Seattle. The theme of this year’s luncheon, “Making Our Mark” was highlighted throughout the event. Watch the video below to hear Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of the NWMMSDC, speak more about “Making Our Mark”!