NewsLETTER: November 2023

Solidarity Statement for Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine 

Thursday, November 16th, 2023

As faith leaders, elected officials, community leaders, educators, and individual residents of Washington state, we are heartbroken and horrified by the escalated violence and bloodshed in Israel/Palestine. As people of all faith backgrounds and conscience, we deeply value life, and are appalled by the significant loss of human life. 

We condemn all targeting and killing of civilians, whether Israeli or Palestinian, of any or no faith background. Such indiscriminate violence harming innocent civilians is not only a violation of law, but also of basic morality and human decency. While this violence occurs in the context of daily injustices under a military occupation of Palestinians, we are outraged at the mass scale  of kidnappings and killings of Israeli civilians including children, women and the elderly on October 7, 2023, as well as the mass killings, bombings and displacement of human beings away from their homes and communities as collective punishment of the 2.3 million people in Gaza (nearly half of which are children) since then. We must prevent more devastation. 

Both the Talmud and the Quran recognize that killing one life is like killing all of humanity, and saving one life is like saving all of humanity (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5; Quran 5:32). Our hearts grieve for the loss of humanity right now, and we will strive – through the world’s brokenness – to find hope, and save all of humanity by saving even one life. 

Accordingly, we reject the efforts to add further fuel to the fire of violence and vengeance through reactionary rhetoric or revenge-seeking actions. Our hearts recognize the tragedy, trauma and terror experienced by all peoples in and connected to the region. We are committed to “holding the whole” and feeling the pain of those who are currently suffering, oppressed, grieving, heartbroken, and/or terrified. In the face of deepening polarization, we choose the side of peace and justice. We recognize the horror experienced by all right now, and we uplift the humanity of all peoples in the region. 

Further, we reject the efforts to conflate the actions of Hamas with the Palestinian people, just as we reject equating the actions of the Israeli military or government with the people living in Israel or Jews across the globe. 

We call on the United States to use its influence and position to facilitate de-escalation in the region. We call for an immediate ceasefire; the safe return of the hostages captured by Hamas; the safe return of those displaced from their homes; a stop to the acts of war by the Israeli military that violate international law; the restoration of basic necessities like food, water, electricity, and medical services to the Gazan people; and the opening of humanitarian aid corridors. We ask all of our elected officials in Washington state and beyond to amplify these calls and to take action to achieve them. 

In addition, we condemn antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-Arab bigotry and violence that may result, as we have tragically seen with the brutal stabbing that killed 6-year-old Palestinian-American Wadea Al-Fayoume in Illinois. We call upon elected officials, corporate leaders, and school administrators in Washington state to be a voice for safety and calm, and to provide support to all those impacted during this devastating crisis, especially the children. 

Together, we envision a world of peace and justice in Israel/Palestine, an area that is sacred to people of all three Abrahamic faith traditions. A world that embraces and delivers safety and security, freedom and liberation to everyone who inhabits the land, which necessarily requires an end to the decades-long military occupation. We look forward to the day when our beloved Israeli and Palestinian children alike will be able to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness together. 

In the powerful words of James Baldwin, ‘the children are always ours, every single one of them, all over the globe; and I am beginning to suspect that whoever is incapable of recognizing this may be incapable of morality”. 

Add Your Name to this Statement Below!

Link for individuals here. Link for organizations here.

Christmas Tree Sale

Support the children, youth, families and seniors in our 43 programs and services by purchasing a fresh Christmas tree during our Annual Christmas Tree Sale!

We are pleased to be able to safely offer high quality, locally sourced fresh Christmas trees for purchase. Proceeds benefit our vital programs and services, which support thousands of vulnerable individuals each year.

Items for sale include (subject to change):

  • Noble Fir
  • Norway Spruce
  • Fraser Fir
  • Grand Fir
  • Douglas Firs most likely will be available on the lot the first week of December
  • Wreaths: 20″; 30″
  • Garland
  • Tree Netting

There may be longer wait times on the weekends, and you may find there are shorter wait times on the weekdays.

Other things to note:

  • Tree wrapping services will be available, but our staff or volunteers will not be able to help customers secure trees to their vehicles.
  • You may also purchase a tree to donate to one of the families in our programs.

Christmas Tree Sale

Support the children, youth, families and seniors in our 43 programs and services by purchasing a fresh Christmas tree during our Annual Christmas Tree Sale!

We are pleased to be able to safely offer high quality, locally sourced fresh Christmas trees for purchase. Proceeds benefit our vital programs and services, which support thousands of vulnerable individuals each year.

Items for sale include (subject to change):

  • Noble Fir
  • Norway Spruce
  • Fraser Fir
  • Grand Fir
  • Douglas Firs most likely will be available on the lot the first week of December
  • Wreaths: 20″; 30″
  • Garland
  • Tree Netting

There may be longer wait times on the weekends, and you may find there are shorter wait times on the weekdays.

Other things to note:

  • Tree wrapping services will be available, but our staff or volunteers will not be able to help customers secure trees to their vehicles.
  • You may also purchase a tree to donate to one of the families in our programs.

NewsLETTER: OCTOBER 2023

Recap of the Building the Beloved Community Gala 2023

We’re thrilled to share the highlights from our spectacular annual Building the Beloved Community Gala, which took place last Saturday, October 14, 2023. This event was a remarkable success, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your support.

An Unforgettable Evening: The gala was a night to remember, with attendees coming together to raise crucial funds for 43 programs and services that positively impact over 20,000 individuals and families across our region.

The Gala in a Glance:

  • Musical Magic: Banda Vagos set the stage on fire with their electrifying live music, creating a vibrant atmosphere that had everyone on their feet.
  • Networking and Connections: The reception was a fantastic opportunity for attendees to connect, share stories, and strengthen the bonds that make our community special.
  • Speakers & Presenters: Aneelah Afzali, Maria Casarez, Enrique Cerna, Pablo Cohen, Juan Flores, Veronica Gallardo, Fred Granados, Elisa Jimenez, Anika Lehde, Claudia Lendo, Daniela Lizarraga, Miguel Maestas, Jesus Mendoza, Mimi Santos and Estela Ortega.
  • Bidding Wars: Our silent and live auctions provided an exciting experience for all, with one-of-a-kind items and experiences up for grabs, all for a great cause.
  • Culinary Excellence: The three-course meal was a culinary delight, pleasing the palates of all who attended.
  • Honoring Remarkable Contributions: A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Roberto Maestas Legacy Awards, Roxana Norouzi, Executive Director of OneAmerica and Keith Tucker, Founder and Executive Director of Hip Hop is Gree, individuals who have made outstanding contributions to our beloved community.
  • 2023 Roberto Felipe Maestas Scholarship Recipients: We take great pride in recognizing the diligent efforts and unwavering dedication of 20 promising scholars who attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way and are part of our Hope for Youth and ELEVAR Case Management Programs: Angel Sanchez, Astrid Mejia, Celeste Guzman, Claudia Lendo, Crystal Morales, Edwin Hernandez, Erandy Loes Ramirez, Israel Vasquez, Jasmine Venegas, Jany Aguilar Ramirez, Joel Jesus Quinones, Kathia Toro, Keila Gaspar, Luz Seleni Chaves, Mariana Leos-Bravo, Mayra Aguirre, Nicolas Nava, Oscar Perez, Reyny Gonzalez and Valeria Perez-Cruz.
  • Mil gracias to our El Centro de la Raza team, as well as William Wright Photography.

Your Invaluable Support: We want to express our deepest gratitude to all the attendees, donors, volunteers, and sponsors who made this gala a tremendous success. Your support enables us to continue our mission of building a beloved community that benefits thousands of lives.

Stay Connected: We look forward to keeping you updated on the impact of your contributions and the progress we make throughout the year.

Thank you for being a part of this memorable night and for your unwavering commitment to our cause. Together, we are making a real difference in our community.

Warm regards,

El Centro de la Raza

¡Mil Gracias to our Volunteers!


We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated volunteers from Starbucks, Microsoft, Seattle University, and the University of Washington. Your unwavering commitment to our cause is nothing short of inspiring. We look forward to continued collaboration and the positive change we can create together. Thank you for being the driving force behind our mission.

¡Mil Gracias to our Sponsors!

Staff corner: October 2023

In the true spirit of community, El Centro de la Raza has opened its doors and welcomed several dedicated volunteer groups into our fold over the past few months. These volunteers, hailing from various backgrounds and walks of life, have become the lifeblood of our organization, each playing a crucial and irreplaceable role in advancing our mission.

We find ourselves profoundly grateful for the incredible synergy that has emerged from the collaboration between our dedicated staff and these remarkable volunteers. Their unwavering commitment and tireless efforts have been nothing short of inspiring. Together, they have woven a tapestry of impact that reaches far and wide, touching the lives of individuals and families within our community.

(Starbuck’ Latinx Partner Network, Hora de Café make paper flowers decorations for our ‘Building the Beloved Community Gala’.)

In the true spirit of community, El Centro de la Raza has opened its doors and welcomed several dedicated volunteer groups into our fold over the past few months. These volunteers, hailing from various backgrounds and walks of life, have become the lifeblood of our organization, each playing a crucial and irreplaceable role in advancing our mission.

We find ourselves profoundly grateful for the incredible synergy that has emerged from the collaboration between our dedicated staff and these remarkable volunteers. Their unwavering commitment and tireless efforts have been nothing short of inspiring. Together, they have woven a tapestry of impact that reaches far and wide, touching the lives of individuals and families within our community.

(Columbia Hospitality Group filed and prepared auction packets for our upcoming ‘Building the Beloved Community Gala’.)

Our volunteers are not mere helpers; they are the embodiment of our shared values and aspirations. Through their selfless contributions, they have enabled us to expand our reach, offer essential services, and strengthen the bonds that tie our community together. Their work is a testament to the belief that real change happens when we unite and work together with a common purpose.

(Emerging Leaders 365 | United Way of King County reached out to over a hundred past attendees, paving the way for our upcoming ‘Building the Beloved Community Gala’.)

Thank you for being a part of this journey, and for your unwavering support of El Centro de la Raza.

With heartfelt appreciation,

El Centro de la Raza

Building the Beloved Community Gala 2023

Join us on Saturday, October 14, 2023 for our annual Building the Beloved Community Gala and take part in an exciting event that raises funds for 43 programs and services that benefit more than 20,000 individuals and families across our region. Register here. The evening will include live music, a reception, silent and live auctions, a three-course meal, and the presentation of our Roberto Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarships!

Please call (206) 957-4649 or email at events@elcentrodelaraza.org for more information.