Realize Tacoma 2023 has officially kicked off! Students from Tacoma Public Schools, Chief Leschi and Annie Wright Schools made their home for the week in our dorm facilities and began their deep dive into Tacoma’s challenges and opportunities. From
housing to the job industry, child wellbeing and more, they will spend the week exploring the profound impact financial instability has on our city.
Students start off the week with a profile of a Tacoma resident earning between $16 per hour to $77,000 per year. They are challenged in several ways throughout the week to gain a deep understanding of our economy through the lens of a majority of our residents. The first part of the journey focused on food insecurity; students visited Tacoma Adventist Community Services, the Southern Kitchen for the Every-Kid-Eats Campaign with the Peace Bus, and the UW Tacoma Food Pantry and Giving Garden.
Days 2 & 3 brought several more transformative off-campus activities, exploring the dynamics of employment, entrepreneurship, and housing through the lens of financial instability.
Over the course of two days, students:
-Engaged in discussions with local leaders, such as Allie Corrigan, owner and Business Consultant at The Business Shoppe, and LaKeisha of the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, family owned Parable.
-Learned about the triumphs and challenges of running a family-owned business at Medzo Gelato Bar.
-Met with Lisa Hoffman, UW Tacoma Professor of Urban Studies, who shared insight into the history redlining in our city.
-Explored the Habitat for Humanity Land Trust Program with Maureen Fife
-Dove into Tacoma's real estate industry with powerhouse husband-and-wife team Anne and Dave Jones from Windermere Abode
-Toured the new development Lex with President Eric Cederstrand
-Spent virtual time with Tracey Nyberg, a renowned film producer who was part of the press team for The Pursuit of Happyness
To cap off the program, students have been working on their own City Council style presentations and Tacoma city map, highlighting their findings and the insights they have gained over the course of the last several days. They will present these to Tacoma City Council and a variety of other community leaders at the end of the week!