Rahwa has been organizing, educating and working towards the empowerment of East African youth since she was a youth herself. Through organizational and personal relationships she was able to connect the issues and struggle that she and her East African community faced with larger social, economic and political issues and movements as well as national and international policy. She also learned about the importance of art and artists in educating, communicating and moving issues that she cared about forward.
Rahwa has led, taken part in and supported numerous campaigns, actions and grassroots efforts to end poverty, eliminate racism and sexism, end violence in all its forms and to empower marginalized individuals and communities, especially youth, women, people of color, GLBT, refugees and immigrants. She has done this through short and long term volunteer positions, paid work at several non-profits and community organizations and most recently as the co-founder of Hidmo, a restaurant and community space in the Central District of Seattle that became a hub of art and activism. For her work through Hidmo, Rahwa was awarded Seattle University Alber’s School of Business’ first annual Red Winged Leadership Award in 2010.
Currently, Rahwa serves on the Board of The Vera Project, an all-ages music and arts center in Seattle and on the Steering Committee of HidmoNEXT. She continues to work with East African youth through Mercer Middle School’s East African Club and the Eritrean Youth Dance Group of Seattle. In the past she has served on the Board of the Refugee Federation Service Center of Seattle, the YWCA National Student Council and the YWCA of the USA. She has also served on the organizing committees of the Washington State Refugee and Immigrant Conference (2009), the Eritrean Sports Federation in North America’s Annual Sports Tournament (1996 & 2006) and the Eritrean Western States Cultural Festival (2006).
Rahwa is fluent in English and Tigrinya (speaking, writing, reading). Follow her on Twitter @RahwaOA.