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Stand Together: Black voices in Seattle inspiring future generations

Advocate Dr. John Gaines, video poet Kamari Bright, photographer Proofntheplay and educational consultant Dr. Timmie Foster share their stories.
Credit: KING
(From left) Educational consultant Dr. Timmie Foster, photographer Proofntheplay, video poet Kamari Bright and nonprofit founder Dr. John Gaines.

KING 5 is celebrating excellence in the Black community of the Pacific Northwest. We are telling their stories in hopes of inspiring the future.

Hear from four Black leaders who are making a difference in a variety of settings, including art, education and nonprofit work.

Dr. John Gaines

Dr. John Gaines is a mentorship advocate and the founder of the nonprofit Push For Dreams, which trains educators in diversity, equity and inclusion and helps kids overcome challenging circumstances to reach their dreams.

Gaines, who experienced obstacles and pain as a child, said he wants to dedicate his life to sharing his story with young people so they too can dream big.

Kamari Bright

A poet and video poet, Kamari Bright's work is inspired by current events, history and her own introspection, according to her website.

“One of my goals when I create is to make something that helps myself and helps others grow and heal,” Bright said. “So, that’s kind of one of the highest compliments if someone can see themselves or see their situation in something that I’ve made.”

Bright’s work has been featured in the Tacoma Film Festival and the Seattle Black Film Festival among others.


Proofntheplay is a photographer and podcaster who captures his love of Seattle in his work. Proofntheplay said he was going through a struggling time, and “the camera chose me.”

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it,” Proofntheplay said. “And nobody’s going to tell you got to be this – you can be whatever your passion lies.”

Dr. Timmie Foster

An educational consultant, Dr. Timmie Foster also serves as an educational lead at the state level. Foster's goal is to make sure kids with racially diverse backgrounds know that they are seen and advocated for by people who look like them.

“My passion is about serving humanity and serving in love,” Foster said.

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