nehemiah studio central district policy review

The Nehemiah Initiative

The Nehemiah Initiative seeks to assist community members facing the effects of rising costs and gentrification to combat displacement in Seattle’s rapidly changing Central District. The project began in 2018 in response to rising concern in the Black community of the Central District about loss of historic character and community culture. As Seattle experiences a citywide economic boom and new residents move to the city and the neighborhood, the Central District is undergoing a seismic shift in community makeup and redevelopment of the built environment. The Nehemiah Initiative’s efforts aim to assist the historically Black churches of the Central District retain and maximize use of church property to keep their presence in the neighborhood.

Mission Statement

The Nehemiah Initiative is focused on helping historically Black churches in the Central District recognize and utilize the collective power they hold as landowning entities within an area of Seattle that is quickly gentrifying and at risk of losing longtime residents and cultural capital.

Our Leadership

Bishop Garry L. Tyson | Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church

For over a decade Pastor Garry L. Tyson has made it his mission to empower changed people to change the world. His message and mandate are clear, to positively impact the world. Bishop Tyson came to the Northwest with a vision from God for the people of God. To show Seattle, “the Savior King County, the King of Kings and the Pacific Northwest, the Prince of Peace.” In March of 2009, Bishop Garry L. Tyson was the first Pastor from the Pacific NW to be featured on the Word Network’s Rejoice in the Word program. Bishop Tyson and his wife First Lady Nicole have frequently hosted the TBN Broadcast of “Praise the Lord”.

Pastor Tyson is a gifted and well-respected pastor, teacher, and preacher. He has ministered all over the country and led two missionary trips to Port Au Prince, Haiti where he ministered to thousands.

Since March of 2014, Bishop Tyson has served alongside the incredible men and women of God in GUF – Global United Fellowship, under the leadership of Bishop Neil C. Ellis. In 2017, he founded the Nehemiah Initiative, and on August 13, 2019 Bishop Garry L. Tyson became the 6th President of the General Baptist Convention of the Northwest (GBCNW).

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Paulette Nicole Brown | Healing Renaissance, LLC

Paulette has over 15 years of community outreach experience, grant writing, and program writing in Pierce and King Counties. She is a recent graduate of the Urban Studies program at the University of Washington Tacoma where she also led lectures for courses focused on sustainable urban development.

Paulette has been a youth mentor for the portfolio project led by the UNCF and has led youth groups to Washington D.C. to empower future generations with tools for social justice and equity in their community. She currently is a recipient of the Washington Women in Need Career Launch program sponsored by Microsoft and has recently started her business, Healing Renaissance.

Paulette is currently a board member of the Goodwill Development Association in Seattle, WA. As an African-American business owner and community advocate, she is motivated to revitalize the urban structures and systems that have previously displaced African-Americans out of their neighborhoods.

Donald I King FAIA | Mimar Studio

Donald King is an architect with over 50 years of professional experience in planning and design. He has been a resident of Seattle’s Central District for 35 years. As a community advocate, Donald King applies his professional experience serving the needs of underserved populations, to raise the consciousness of the under-empowered to seize control of the planning, design and development of their neighborhoods. He is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in multidisciplinary transformational processes in the built environment.

Projects of his previous firm, DKA, include the Central Area Healthcare Center, the Seattle Vocational Institute Renovation, Seattle Housing Authority 24 high-rise building modernizations, Northwest African American Museum, Casey Family Program Seattle Division Offices, the Asian Counseling and Referral Service Community Center and hundreds of others.

Donald King has Master of Architecture degree from UCLA and is licensed to practice architecture in California, Hawaii and Washington. He has been a member of the College of Fellows, of the American Institute of Architects, since 2000.

He is currently Principal Architect of Mimar Studio, a pre-development planning consultancy, and an Affiliate Professor of Architecture in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington.

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Anne Morgan Stadler

Anne Morgan Stadler opens space for personal and collective vision, expressed in practical community-building outcomes. She has 54 years of service in peace building, cross-cultural high performance teamwork, community organizing, & inspired leadership.

From 1991 to the present, she has been a consultant and coach to communities, foundations, corporations, academic institutions (including primary and secondary schools and Universities). Anne was Adjunct Faculty in the Antioch Graduate Management Program from 1993 to 2000. She has worked with international teams and individuals in India, the former USSR, Uzbekistan, Australia, Canada, the UK, and US.

In 1973 to 1990, Anne was an award winning producer at KING-TV in Seattle and was hired to work with People Power, a very diverse coalition of community organizations that guided the subject matter and programming of special programs and documentaries illuminating community challenges and opportunities. Many successful community policies and programs had their origins in People Power programming and collaboration. From 1987 to 1990, she was the American co-Producer for a series of programs produced and aired in collaboration with Gosteleradio (Soviet television).

Anne was Co-Founder, Director, and Board member of local, national and international peace building organizations focused on non-violent action to end war: Platform for Peace 1960, Turn Toward Peace, World without War Council, and the Non-Aligned Council for Disarmament and Peace.

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Rev. Kenneth J. Ransfer | Mt. Baker Baptist Church

On September 3, 1995 The Rev. Kenneth J. Ransfer, Sr. assumed the position of pastor of the Greater Mt. Baker Baptist Church of Seattle, WA. In addition to his position at Greater Mt. Baker Baptist Church, Pastor Ransfer currently serves as Moderator of the Macedonia Baptist District Association, First Vice-President of the General Baptist Convention of the Northwest; an Associate Chaplain for the Seattle Police Department; as well as various other organizations.

Pastor Ransfer was licensed and ordained in Los Angeles, CA, and has earned his B.A in Religion from the University of Southern California, and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta, GA. He is currently working on his Doctor of Ministry Degree at Bakke Graduate University, in Seattle, WA.

Pastor Ransfer has served as Pastor, Organizer, and Associate Pastor at churches in California and Arizona, and has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, and the Holy Land preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has been recognized by various state and national organizations for his accomplishments.

He is a teacher of a wide variety of Bible classes, most notably serving as a guest lecturer at Fresno State University addressing the issue of Blacks in the Bible. In addition to his pastoral ministry, Pastor Ransfer is also very civic-minded and actively involved in civil rights, prison reform, social justice, and community affairs.

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Mark R. Jones, PhD | Suntaya

Dr. Jones is a Senior Executive and Strategic Thinking Partner that serves as Organizational Behavior Consultant and Chief Systems Transformation Architect (cultural-relational | structural-technical) and Organizational Behaviorist (business | community | government). He provides mission-critical leadership support and services such as initiative and transformation executive leader, strategic business integration partner, executive coach, leadership team mentor, culture therapist and designer, strategic plan auditor, as-needed program manager, and transition oversight executive. He has over forty-five years’ experience as a Beloved Community Developer in leading, developing, and/or implementing effective co-housing, co-work, and education and training programs. As a Cultural Systems Architect/Designer, Dr. Jones has designed and facilitated over 1,000 events since 1983 (meetings, workshops, and conferences) that optimize personal and/or organizational development.

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Rev. James P. Broughton III | Damascus International Fellowship

For 15 years, Rev. James P. Broughton III has served as the President of the United Black Christian Clergy and as a Trustee for Crista Ministries.

Pastor Broughton has a vision for community development through leadership empowerment of the local church.

Aaron Fairchild | Green Canopy Homes

Aaron has over 30 years in real estate construction, development and real estate finance. He is an experienced fund manager, real estate developer and curator of corporate culture and mindfulness development. Aaron is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Gabon, Africa where he built schools and homes for teachers, and holds an Executive MBA from the University of Washington. He was a two-term board member of Washington Environmental Council and the Master Builders Association and currently serves as a board member of Enhabit.

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Rachel Berney | University of Washington, Department of Urban Design and Planning

Visit Rachel’s full profile here.

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Branden Born | University of Washington, Department of Urban Design and Planning

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Al Levine | University of Washington, Department of Real Estate

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