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Unveiling the 206 Zulu Moon design

206 Zulu has been through quite a journey. From a group of artists/organizers you could count on one hand to an ocean of smiling faces and pumping fists too large to count at a glance, this organization has seen some changes. Over the years, we’ve grown, both in membership and in the diversity of ideas and perspectives that continue to shape the way we serve our community. 

Members, throughout our 20 year history, have proposed initiatives, debated policies, and brought elements of their own experiences and cultures into the process that continues to shape the face of 206 Zulu. Sometimes those ideas have been instant hits and we all ran off to work to make them happen. Some have been more contentious and required long hours of discussion, bouncing ideas and concepts back and forth until we came to agreements. This process also took place as we shifted over time in our relationship to the Universal Zulu Nation.

As a community, we grappled with shocking allegations of sexual abuse from the UZN’s founder. Through our continued process of fostering safety to share perspectives openly, we worked together to decide how to proceed as an organization. This led to a formal detachment from the organization that built the foundation that 206 Zulu grew from. It also led to the development of, new institutions for the protection of victims of sexual assault, reconstructive justice programs, and new tools for oversight and addressing vulnerabilities written into our organizational structure. This reckoning gave us pause to reconsider exactly who we are as we began to be born anew once again.

Through those hard times, we collectively gained a deeper understanding of the continuum of history (or OurStory as we like to term it) as a living relationship between the past, the present, and the future. We struggled to decide which elements of our organization’s past should survive the fire of rebirth. We took stock of which aspects were of our essential value system and which we should leave behind as we moved into a new phase of our existence. 

The rallying principles of peace, love, unity, respect, and having fun remained. Some of our traditions and ceremonies transcended our organizational affiliations as well, continuing to provide grounding and unification amongst our members. The action of using the beautiful elements of Hip Hop Culture as a tool to uplift, preserve, and celebrate our diverse community gave a constancy to our evolution. We even decided after an intense time of debate and consideration to keep the word Zulu in our organization’s name. We agreed as a collective that rather than erase and walk away from the parts of our history that we reject, we would continue to acknowledge them lest we ever forget that the struggle for safety and justice for our people is both external and internal. 

Moving into the next 20 years of 206 Zulu’s history in the making, we continue to evolve in the very symbols that represent us. We’re proud of these moments and our ability to change as we learn and grow, which is why we’re so excited to be unveiling a new symbol of that movement into the future, with our newly designed 206 Zulu logo.

First and foremost, the design of this new logo, created by the incredible artist Derek “Manik” Edenshaw, pays essential acknowledgement to the original caretakers of the region of the world 206 Zulu was born, the Pacific Northwest. Through his roots in the Haida Coast Salish nation, Manik lent a knowledge of ways that our values align with the some of those of the first nations on this land, who continue to hold the vine of history from the present back to the first systems of care for the earth, rivers, and ocean that would set the stage for the the city of Seattle to grow out of. 

So, as we look to the future, this high functioning organization of artists, organizers, educators, and leaders will forge the way. We know that change is constant and in our mission of upliftment to the powerful people of our local and global community, we begin each day grounded in our values and liberated by our ability to listen, react, and adapt. That journey has led us to create, together, a thing of great beauty and it fuels our work to know that our ability to grow has allowed us to set course for a thing of great possibilities. 

What’s to come in the future is yet to be seen, but with our continued efforts, collaboration, and collective mission, we’ll bring in the years to come, carrying peace, love, unity, respect, and having fun into new generations and continue to find new and innovative ways to change the world with the power of Hip Hop. Thank you for 20 incredible years, family. Here’s to the next 20!

Open Hands
Open Hands
Open Hands is a humanoid father, husband, revolutionary, emcee, journalist, videographer, animator, storyteller, educator, and friend currently residing in parts unknown somewhere within the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.