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Healing Through Storytelling: The RISE Book Project Books Are Here!

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Daddy’s Little Girl. By Essynce Dale. Illustrated by Zoe Crago.

King County Non-Profit Works with Families to Publish Childrens’ Grief Books around Gun Violence

A beacon of hope and healing led by RISE and the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture, the 2023 series of The RISE Book Project is a collaborative effort with King County families, each navigating the heart-wrenching loss of a parent to gun violence. These 9 children’s books, born from a tapestry of grief and resilience, are more than narratives; they are vessels of empowerment, legacy, and love.

Crafted in partnership with a group of incredible illustrators and our devoted team, each story is a testament to the strength and healing power of community connection. These books not only offer solace to the families involved but also serve as lifelines to others experiencing similar tragedies.

Meet Porsha and her daughter, Ma’Kyea – one of our author families!

Porsha grew up in the Central District of Seattle, Washington, where she met Ma’Kyea’s dad at the Bailey Gatzert Elementary School’s Summer Program. Ma’Kyea’s dad, Stephan, was known in the Seattle area for his sense of humor and positive impact with youth throughout the community.

Their daughter Ma’Kyea has a passion for singing & dancing! She brings light to everyone she meets! “Unfortunately, Ma’Kyea doesn’t have many memories to look back on with her dad, just amazing stories that she holds deeply in her heart,” states Porsha. “To be able to create stories through her eyes and with her feelings is an incredible gift.” You can purchase their book, “If Heaven Had a Phone,” below. Each book purchased directly benefits the author.

The RISE Book Project Release Party: December 30

The RISE Book ProjectIn celebration of this incredible project, we invite you to our book launch on Saturday, December 30th, to celebrate our families as they release their books. Join us at Byrd Barr Place from 11am-2pm for a heartfelt morning of reading and community gathering as our families read excerpts from their books.

RSVP here

About RISE

After her four-year-old’s father was murdered in February 2021, Lynniah Grayson knew that something had to be done in her community to support the increasing number of mothers and children who were suffering from such gun violence tragedies. “Our community has seen tragedy after tragedy at a rapid speed,” reflected Grayson. “As a community leader, and one who has been impacted by gun violence since adolescence, I have become an advocate for mothers who have experienced such tragedies and children who must now live with enormous adversity for the rest of what we hope to be a long, healthy life.” She began Resilient In Sustaining Empowerment (RISE), a non-profit organization providing vital support for vulnerable children, mothers, and families directly impacted by gun violence.

RISE provides tools to assist in trauma recovery, healing-centered engagement, positive identity, professional development, and grief support for families impacted by gun violence. Most recently, the organization has launched their Book Project, a space for families and children to publish a book around their story and healing process.