Category: Announcements

Come eat at Spice Bridge, our new global food hall!

Our Food Innovation Network’s (FIN) much-anticipated food hall, Spice Bridge, will open on Sept. 8! The home of our Food Business Incubator, Spice Bridge is a space for women of color and immigrants to launch and build thriving businesses.

We’ll initially offer takeout and outdoor dining, and we look forward to making the space a true community hub with indoor dining and art performances when it is safe to do so.

In addition to helping to create economic security for business owners and their families, Spice Bridge will help build food security in our community. The space will support FIN’s Tukwila Village Farmers Market, which makes fresh, local produce affordable and accessible for community members. Spice Bridge will also be utilized for FIN’s community meals program, which has provided more than 7,600 no-cost meals for seniors and families in need. We are also working on a meal voucher program as a way to ensure affordable access at Spice Bridge. 

Location and Hours

Spice Bridge is located in Tukwila Village at 14200 Tukwila International Blvd. Suite 141, Tukwila, WA 98168.

  • Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-8pm
  • Sunday: 8am-3pm
  • Monday: Closed

Food Stall Vendors 

During our first month, four businesses will offer delicious foods and beverages: 

  • Moyo Kitchen will serve Somali-Kenyan-Tanzanian fusion food inspired by Zanzibar, the world’s spice capital.
  • Afella Jollof Catering will cook up Gambian/Senegalese cuisine.
  • Seatango will craft artisan savory and sweet pastries from Argentina.
  • Taste of Congo will offer authentic Congolese cuisine.

On Oct. 1, four more businesses will join the rotation:

  • Wengay’s Kitchen will be the area’s go-to source for authentic Filipino food. 
  • Jazze’s will offer Afghani food made from organic, locally-grown ingredients.
  • Theary Cambodian Foods will serve authentic Cambodian/Khmer cuisine.
  • WUHA will offer “fast” Eritrean/Ethiopian food options, serving both authentic foods and American foods cooked with Eritrean spices as a gateway to more traditional dishes.

Please sign up for FIN’s newsletter and follow Spice Bridge on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest news!

A few of the many foods you can enjoy at Spice Bridge

Our Connection Desk Offers Insurance Enrollment and Other Help by Phone

Hands hold mobile phone

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, Washington state opened up a special enrollment period for health insurance through May 8. Our Connection Desk is offering over-the-phone help enrolling in health insurance. We’re also connecting community members with other vital resources.

If you’d like help, please send a text message or leave a voicemail at (206) 707-6626. In your message, include:

  • your name,
  • your number,
  • what you need help with,
  • what language you need if you don’t speak English.

We will call you back as soon as possible.

Please note that we are not currently offering in-person services. We will update our Facebook page and website when in-person services resume.

Links to information about COVID-19

Board Member Wessen Kifetew Brings Passion for Global Health and Community Service

Wessen Kifetew, who joined Global to Local’s board of directors in the fall, has more than 15 years of experience in global health and community service. 

“Maternal and child health, women’s health, and equity in access to health care are my passions,” Wessen said. “These are big issues in global health, and also here in the Seattle area.” 

Originally from Ethiopia, Wessen earned a Master’s degree in Global Health from the University of Emory, Atlanta, and a Graduate Certificate in Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Leadership from University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Public Health. Her academic research focused on the impact of HIV/AIDS stigma on prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and she went on to work in global health operations management with U.S. government and international organizations. 

When Wessen moved to the Northwest more than a decade ago, she set out to understand health disparities and social justice as influential factors on policy, decision making, and on health outcomes of vulnerable populations and communities in greater Seattle.  

“I started volunteering, doing a lot of pro bono consulting work, and actively trying to get a good handle on what equity means, and why do we have these persisting health issues within communities,” Wessen said. In addition to providing pro bono consulting services to a variety of community-based organizations, Wessen is a member of the Washington State Coalition African Leaders (WASCAL), and also serves on the board of African American Reach & Teach Health, an organization responding to HIV/AIDS and other major health issues affecting African Americans and people of African descent. 

Wessen sees joining Global to Local’s board as an opportunity to support implementation of a strategy that has always interested her—adapting global health learnings to improve health in U.S. communities. More importantly, Wessen sees her role as a board member to bring the voices of the broader global community to the table. 

“Working in global health, I’ve always thought, Why can’t we bring the experiences and the best practices to address some of the local health issues?” Wessen said. “There are opportunities for the public health community here to adapt best practices to address inequities in health and healthcare access, education, and in other sectors based on race and place. And I think Global to Local is in a position to play a big role in addressing these issues across diverse communities.” 

Wessen looks forward to supporting Global to Local’s growth beyond SeaTac and Tukwila.  

“I think we can help to address inequities and disparities in not just greater Seattle, but also in the broader international communities, similar communities who could benefit from the practices that we bring in,” she said. 

Tukwila Resident Charis Hnin Brings Community Planning Experience to Global to Local’s Board of Directors

Charis Hnin quote

Global to Local welcomed Charis Hnin to our board of directors this fall. A Tukwila resident since 2013, Charis brings a community perspective, and a background in activism and community planning.  

For years, Charis has volunteered as a convener, facilitating conversations between policymakers and community members who speak limited English—often in her living room.  

“I encourage people in the community to be involved in local politics. I focus on local politics because a lot of our day-to-day life is affected by it,” Charis said. 

Charis’s passion for boosting civic engagement is driven in part by her experience living under an oppressive regime. 

“Coming from Burma, which had the longest military dictatorship, it’s important to me to exercise the democratic process,” she said. 

Charis’s professional career has been equally focused on building powerful communities. She has held front line and leadership positions in refugee resettlement, community development, housing, consumer protection, human services, educational leadership, and workforce education. In her current community planning work as the principal and chief strategist at Talitha Consults, Charis pays close attention to the interconnections between people, place, and power. She will bring the same lens to her board position at Global to Local. 

“My vision is that Global to Local will continue to be people-centered, with an inclusive definition of who the ‘people’ are, and also participate in the placemaking of our community, because these buildings will outlive us all and continue to shape many generations to come,” she said.  

G2L and Connection Desk Holiday Schedule

Global to Local’s office and the Connection Desk will close later this month as our staff celebrates winter holidays.

Our office will close from Wednesday, Dec. 25 through Wednesday, Jan. 1. We will re-open on Thursday, Jan. 2.

Our Connection Desk at HealthPoint SeaTac will be open with limited hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 23. It will be closed from Tuesday, Dec. 24 through Friday, Jan. 3, and resume normal hours on Monday, Jan. 6.

We wish you a happy and healthy winter holiday season!

Tukwila Village Food Hall Will Open in 2020 With State and Community Support

Rendering of colorful food retail stalls

Construction is underway at our Food Innovation Network’s new commercial kitchen and community hub! Tukwila Village Food Hall will be home to FIN’s Food Business Incubator, which has already helped launch 12 businesses headed by low-income South King County residents, primarily immigrants and refugees.  

Food businesses have traditionally been a way for many striving immigrants and low-income families to make a living. However, skyrocketing real estate and rental rates are making it difficult for these entrepreneurs to access commercial kitchen and restaurant spaces in South King County. Tukwila Village Food Hall will provide the space and support to help entrepreneurs launch and scale to successful local businesses. The Food Hall will also provide a community hub—a space where people can gather to learn about and celebrate the community’s rich food traditions. 

The facility

The 2,900-square-foot facility will include a commercial kitchen with four cook stations, five food retail stalls (including one stall designated for pop-ups and cooking demos), and a community dining area. The space will accommodate 20 food businesses, including eight that will rent stalls in the public Food Hall. Other businesses will use the kitchen for off-site sales, such as catering and farmers markets. 

The Food Hall will be in Tukwila Village, a mixed development project with 400 new affordable and market-rate apartments. Construction began in late 2018, and the Food Hall will be ready for operations next spring. 

Two side-by-side images show FIN's Food Hall building under construction now, and a rendering of how the building will look when completed in 2020.
Our new facility will be located on Tukwila International Boulevard just north of Tukwila Library. The building is adjacent to the plaza where FIN already operates the Tukwila Village Farmers Market.

State and community support  

Building out the facility and installing kitchen equipment will cost $850,000. Thanks to our local funding partners and the State of Washington, we’ve already raised more than half of this amount!  

Communities of Opportunity and the Port of Seattle have provided support in the pilot testing, pre-construction needs, and program expansion.  

The State of Washington has appropriated $400,000 in its capital budget to support the project; the budget request was sponsored by Sen. Bob Hasegawa, and supported by dozens of local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders. 

We continue to seek sponsors, and have launched a capital campaign to help raise the remaining funds. You can help open Tukwila Village Food Hall by contributing online and joining our crowdfunding campaign!  

FIN entrepreneurs and some of their children smile at the camera.
Food Business Incubator participants use income their businesses generate to support their families’ health and wellbeing.

Learn more 

Proposed Rules Would Impact Immigrant Families

The Trump administration has proposed changes to immigration rules that many experts believe could put the health of millions of families at risk. The proposed changes would expand the “public charge” rule so immigrants could be denied admission to the U.S. or permanent residency if they or their dependents use certain health, food, and housing programs. These changes could increase poverty, stress, and fear among immigrant communities.

These proposed changes have not yet been implemented. Public comment can have an impact on whether the changes are made.

What you can do:

  1. Make a comment in the federal register. Because the government must take all comments into account before finalizing the rule, you have the opportunity to affect the outcome. Advocates have come together to create an easy-to-use comment portal at ProtectingImmigrantFamilies.org. Using this portal, you can let the government know how this rule would affect you, your family, your community, and our country. If you do not want to include any personal information, a friend or representative can submit a comment for you. You have until Dec. 10 to submit comments.
  2. Make a comment on behalf of someone you know. You can submit multiple comments on behalf of friends, clients, or anyone who doesn’t want to disclose their personal information. This FAQ shares information about submitting comments on behalf of others, as well as submitting comments that have been translated into English.
  3. Share this information with your networks, and encourage them to speak out.

More information:

Announcing Our New CEO

Jonathan Sugarman

Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH will join Global to Local next week as our CEO. With over three decades of experience improving health both domestically and internationally, Jonathan is well suited to build on Global to Local’s success in demonstrating how global health strategies can advance health equity in the United States. Communities around the country are interested in adapting the innovative programs we’ve piloted in SeaTac and Tukwila, from a smartphone app that helps patients control diabetes, to culturally appropriate fitness classes. Jonathan brings an ideal skill set to support the development of similar programs nationwide, starting with our upcoming projects in Cle Elum and Spokane.

Jonathan began his work leading health improvement efforts as an Indian Health Service physician on the Navajo Nation. He served as president and CEO of Qualis Health for nearly 20 years, guiding the Seattle-based nonprofit to national recognition as a leader in improving population health, particularly among vulnerable populations. He has held leadership roles in numerous local, state, and national associations, including the Washington Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Physicians Consortium for Performance Improvement. He is a technical facilitator for the Joint Learning Network for Universal Healthcare (JLN) People-Centered Integrated Care Collaborative. The JLN is an innovative, country-driven network of practitioners and policymakers from over 30 nations who co-develop global knowledge products that help bridge the gap between theory and practice to improve the health of more than 3 billion people.

Jonathan is a graduate of Harvard College, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. He serves as a clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington, and as a lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In an announcement message, Global to Local Board Chair Lisa Cohen wrote:

“Given these credentials, it is clear why Jonathan emerged as the most outstanding candidate during our five-month nationwide search to replace our founding executive director, Adam Taylor, whom we can’t thank enough for establishing Global to Local as a model for improving community health. We’re also grateful to A.J. McClure, who stepped in as interim executive director following Adam’s departure this summer. As deputy director, A.J. will continue to oversee our King County programs.

“We’re delighted to welcome Jonathan to our team, and look forward to his leadership – and your partnership – as we strive to advance health equity in South King County and beyond.”

Stay connected with G2L

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A New Adventure for Executive Director Adam Taylor

G2L staff share their ideas about leadership

G2L staff share their ideas about leadership; Executive Director Adam Taylor’s sign reads, “Leadership is a voice for all.” Having spent eight years helping to build leadership in South King County and at G2L, Adam is moving on to new adventures. Image credit: Ken Tran.

 

After leading G2L for eight years, Founding Executive Director Adam Taylor will step down from his position on June 29 to begin a yearlong travel adventure with his family. In his announcement, Adam wrote, “Global to Local has never been stronger, which is why I have decided this is the right time for this transition. Our staff of over 20 is exceptional, our funding is solid, our partnerships are deep, and we are seeing the impact of our work every day.”

G2L Board Chair Dan Dixon highlighted some of Adam’s accomplishments in a message to our newsletter subscribers:

“A few examples of Adam and the G2L team’s work include development of a nationally recognized diabetes management program that utilizes highly efficient and cost-effective health promoters and a smart phone app that dramatically improves the wellness of users with diabetes. This program is now being launched in the Swedish System. Adam has also worked tirelessly with dozens of community partners and with support from the Seattle Foundation and King County to develop a Food Innovation Network that is launching new food businesses and improving access to healthy foods.

“Adam has engaged corporate and government partners along with universities and community groups to pursue distinctive avenues of innovation, from economic literacy and job training and placement to primary health care. One of the signature achievements of Adam’s tenure, in partnership with HealthPoint, was development of the Connection Desk that enabled thousands of individuals to sign up for the Affordable Care Act and other important services ranging from housing to employment and much more.”

Identifying G2L’s Next Leader

G2L’s board has already launched a national search for our next executive director, with the goal of having someone in place by the end of June. Details about the position are posted here; we hope you will share this opportunity with your networks.

We will keep you updated through our email newsletter; if you aren’t already subscribed, we invite you to sign up now.