We Are Seattle

A Visual History of Neighborhood House – Strengthening Community for 115 years

The We Are Seattle book will include over 300 archival and recent photographs documenting the evolution from its roots as Settlement House founded by the National Council of Jewish Women – Seattle Section to serve Jewish immigrants in the Yesler neighborhood towards the regional, multiservice agency that it is today. The book will document over 115 years of immigration and in-migration to King County by diverse groups including Jewish refugees from Europe, African-Americans from the South, Latinx communities, East Africans, Southeast Asians, and former Soviet citizens.

Our project is timely and time sensitive because our agency serves, and our book focuses on, communities that have been impacted by systemic racism and injustice and whose voices have been repressed. Today, these communities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, experiencing both higher morbidity and mortality rates, and greater economic impact from loss of income.

Sewing classes at Neighborhood House, then and now.

The book is being put together by two long-time Neighborhood House supporters, visual storyteller and photographer Louise Kurabi and historian David Katzman. Louise and David are children of immigrants and grew up in Bayside, Queens. Read more about the authors below. They are working on the book pro bono.

Your donation today will help share the voices of our communities and make the book available in public spaces. Together we can reach our goal of raising $45,000 to help publish and distribute this book in our community. We Are Seattle is expected to be released in September 2021.

Meet the Authors

Louise Kurabi is a photographer, content creator, and arts manager. She has a B.A. in Photography from Binghamton University and an M.F.A. in Photography from California College of the Arts. Louise worked as an associate curator of photography and painting at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and as a senior picture editor at Corbis before becoming a UX manager at Microsoft. Louise is also a former Neighborhood House board member; her involvement with our agency goes back 30 years. Some of Louise’s work can be found on her website, visualconversations.net. She published a book of photographs, also called Visual Conversations, in 2017. Louise created a digital storytelling project in partnership with Neighborhood House, OneAmerica, Seattle Public Library, the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, and young people served by Neighborhood House called “We are Seattle: Stories from Families, Immigrants, Refugees and the Agencies that Serve Them.” A slideshow from the project can be found here. The concept of the We Are Seattle book grew out of this 2016 project.
Dr. David Katzman is Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies at the University of Kansas. David earned his Ph.D from Michigan University. He came to the University of Kansas in 1969 and has been a visiting professor at University College, Dublin (Ireland), the University of Birmingham (England), Tokushima University (Japan), the University of Hong Kong, and Kobe University. In 2002, David was a Fulbright lecturer in American Studies in Japan. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Ford Foundation Fellow, and the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowships. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an elected Fellow of the Society of American Historians. He was the 2002 recipient of the Ned N. Fleming Trust Award for Excellence in Teaching. David’s research and teaching have focused on American culture and race, ethnicity, identity, work, migration, and community. He has published a number of books on these topics including Seven Days a Week: Women and Domestic Service in Industrializing America (1978, 1981); co-editor with William Tuttle of Plain Folk: The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans (1982); co-author of Three Generations in 20th Century America: Family, Community, and Nation (1977, 1978, 2nd ed, 1982); and A People and a Nation (6th edition, 2000).

Thank you to our supporters

Louise and Ned KurabiDavid and Sharyn KatzmanPhyllis Hatfield
Bill AustinBradley and Linda FowlerCindy Lavoie
Irene BorgerVeritas EditionsAnonymous
David and Karen KingAnna Kaminski and Louise PietrafesaEdie and Alan Cohen
Laurie WickClair and Maxine VoetbergSharon Goldberg
Michele and Jerry PearsonDennison and Mrs. KerleeDiane and Will Washington
Michael M. KatzmanJason and Noushin IssaGregory Koenig
Kirstie Lewis and Peter SugarmanMary BatemanSei Murawski
Dr. Marilyn MayersSusan Elliott and Travis BurgesonLynn Roesch and Arthur Knapp
Jean MontagueMs. Merle HooleyMs. Carol Hoffman
The PortersMichael MamishSarah Tyack

This project is supported by a grant from 4Culture.