"We take a lot of precautions, our employees are always wearing masks, always washing hands and wearing gloves. so the contamination of the food -- and even the research shows -- is very low. People should come out and support small businesses like us, because this is what makes the U.S. economy run."

"GOVAA provided me a safe space to grow as an individual and I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for it...As long as you get started and take the first step in the right direction, you will be coming out on the other side a better person."

"Education is life-changing...it leads us to reckon with our purpose within our world. I have a deep appreciation for the value of education, and understand that passionate teachers can affect positive change amongst students who may be struggling with their purpose."


AUGUST HIGHLIGHT SERIES

This month, we wanted to call back to the litany of stories we've had the fortune of documenting. We hope you all have learned, grown, and reflected upon these strong voices as much as we have. Happy reading! Here are 5 stories of particular vibrancy we wished to share.

Among being a Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, being on the BNV team (a slam poetry team that represents Seattle in the International Festival of Poetry), interning at the International Rescue Committee based in Seattle, serving as a youth ambassador at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and serving as the Co-Vice President of the Bellevue Youth City Council, Bitanya works with Eastside 4 Black Lives, a grassroots organization of black and brown youth within the Bellevue School District that holds rallies and protests to demand that the Bellevue Police Department be defunded by at least 25% and for those funds to be re-allocated to public housing, as well as pushing for BSD to change its history curriculum and end police presence in schools.

Read her story to find out more about Eastside 4 Black Lives and learn how to become involved in activism as a youth.

Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of safe surgeries for those born with cleft lip and cleft palate. With more than three decades of expertise, Operation Smile creates solutions that deliver free surgery to people where it’s needed most. As one of the largest medical volunteer-based nonprofits, Operation Smile has mobilized thousands of medical volunteers from a wide range of medical specialties from more than 80 countries. Operation Smile engages public-private partnerships to advance health care delivery, train local medical professionals to provide surgical care for patients in their communities, donate crucial medical equipment and supplies, and increase access to surgical care so that everyone living with cleft is treated.

Read about Operation Smile (Part 1 and 2) to learn more about medical missions and how non-governmental organizations are adjusting their services during COVID-19.

Though this law firm is licensed in multiple states, its physical office and headquarters is in Seattle, Washington's Chinatown. During COVID-19, the law firm experienced its second burglary since its move to Seattle in 2012. When the homeless looting occurred, most of the building managers had already been staying home since they were at high risk and over 80 years of age. They also didn’t want to place high-risk employees in a comprising work environment given the rate of spread. When the law firm attorney went into the office on March 11th, the attorney was shocked to see that the office space had been burglarized the previous evening. Among the items stolen, they had stolen a gun, both of the attorney's safes, office checks, a laptop computer, an iPad, and the flat-screen TV.

Read this story to learn more about the toils faced by small businesses in Seattle during COVID-19.

TVS motors is the third largest motorcycle manufacturing company India, and among the Top 8 in the world. The company makes around 4 million motorcycles a year and sells them in India and 60 other countries across the world. This business leader leads the Human Resources and Information Technology portfolios for the group, which includes TVS motors as well as some of the companies' affiliates, and has around 40,000 employees working with them.

Read this story to learn more about the decisions business leaders face in balancing their worker's health and safety.

RANICreative is a collective that releases issues semi-monthly and seeks to bridge the gaps between different forms of art. With new themes every month, RANICreative centers minority and LGBTQ+ womxn/femmes and creates a community amongst them. Our founder created RANI with the belief that surrounding yourself with the creatives that you aspire to be and learning from them is much more productive than being envious of them. That is the purpose that she hopes RANI will serve.

Read the story of how Rani Creative was founded and the purpose it serves in uplifting artists across the world.