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For the next year, we will work in collaboration with these four community leaders to co-create the 2019 public programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center. Aligned with our mission to educate, inspire and motivate local and global awareness and action, our public programs strive to amplify voices from our local community to foster inclusion and belonging, convene and connect people, and highlight opportunities to act.
We invite you to learn more about these leaders and the impact they are making across communities.
Cohort Member Profiles
TRACY RECTOR Executive Director / Co-Founder, Longhouse Media
Tracy Rector is a mixed race (Choctaw/Seminole) filmmaker, curator, community organizer, co-founder of Longhouse Media and a 2016 Stranger Genius. She has made over 400 short films, and is currently in production of her seventh feature documentary. As co-producer of the award-winning film Teachings of the Tree People, producer of March Point and Dawnland, co-director of Clearwater, and director of Ch’aak’ S’aagi; Rector has developed an awareness and sensitivity to the power of media and film as a modern storytelling tool. Her work has been featured on Independent Lens, Cannes Film Festival, Imagine Native, National Geographic’, Toronto International Film Festival, the Seattle Art Museum and in the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian. Rector’s current curatorial project yəhaw̓ , an indigenous-led yearlong project, can be viewed at the King Street Station in Seattle, WA.
NOURAH YONOUS Executive Director / Founder, African Women Business Alliance Nourah Yonous identifies as Pan-Afrikan: born and raised. She has roots deeply embedded in social justice work; particularly in gender/racial equity and cross cultural-multifaceted-intersectional grassroots community development. She is currently the Founder and Executive Director at African Women Business Alliance- (AWBA), a grassroots, strength-based, data-focused, holistic and culturally responsive platform for/by black women diaspora for inclusive economy. Nourah is a former advocate with CARE International-on maternal crisis, education, child marriage, and poverty in the global south. In local grassroots work, Nourah has worked with various CBOs- as a former Education Organizer at OneAmerica, Capacity-Building Program Manager at Nonprofit Assistance Center, Development Director at East African Community Center, and a Community Leadership Institute Fellow at Puget Sound Sage.
MICHAEL TUN`CAP Professor / Director / Coach
Michael Tun’cap was born in Aniguak, Guam and raised in Tacoma/Lakewood, Washington. He has served as Director of the Pacific Islander Student Commission at the University of Washington Seattle, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Green River College and the TRIO SSS Program at Seattle Central College. He studied race in Charlottesville as a Ralph Bunche fellow at the University of Virginia and as a Public Policy and International Affairs Institute Fellow in the Goldman School while earning his MA in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Michael is also the Co-founder of the First Peoples Conference, the UW Student Ambassadors Program, and the Men of Culture Academy. He is an adjunct Professor in Humanities at South Puget Sound Community College, Sociology at Northwest Indian College, and Diversity and Global Studies at Highline College, and Education at University of Washington, Tacoma.
BLAKE MATTHEWS Progressive Cultural Organizer
Born and raised in Western Washington, Blake Matthews is a local maven of creative arts for the greater Seattle area. While studying journalism at Lincoln University, he participated as an intern at KJLU, a campus radio station, as well as a legislative assistant at the Office of State Senator Jamilah Nasheed. Returning to Seattle post-grad, Blake has transformed into a positive beacon for progressive culture and has organized events aimed to highlight strong community efforts at many iconic Seattle venues, such as the Seattle Aquarium and Showbox Market. Blake enjoys blending the diverse worlds of music, fashion, free expression, and storytelling to create inclusive experiences and spaces for community building. Blake continues to tap into multiple outlets of varied creative expression, culminating with the launch of his blog, Doppler Seattle, which has evolved into a hub for local artists and events.