The Daily Herald welcomes a new columnist to its Opinion pages, a woman who grew up in the Puget Sound region, lives in Everett and has started her career in higher education in Snohomish County.
Ciera Graham is the director of Everett Community College’s East County Campus in Monroe, offering her leadership in areas of student services, marketing, community partnerships and fundraising. Prior to her start there in February 2019, she served as associate director for Student Affairs at Washington State University-Everett.
Graham said the close working relationship that exists between WSU-Everett and EvCC allowed a smooth transition for her, and she’s glad to be a part of the colleges’ partnerships. “It’s allowed me to see how committed both are to the educational opportunities for students in this county,” she said during a phone interview last week.
Graham grew up in the Tukwila area, attending elementary and middle schools in Renton and Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien.
A first-generation college student for her family, Graham earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degree in community counseling from Washington State University in Pullman, and her doctorate in sociology in August 2015 from the University of Cincinnati.
Since beginning her work at EvCC-Monroe, Graham helped to found and serves as president of the college’s chapter of the America Association of Women in Community Colleges. She also serves on the board of the Community Foundation of Snohomish County and is a past board member for Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County. She was named in February 2019 as one of the Top 4 Emerging Leaders of Snohomish County by The Herald Business Journal, Economic Alliance Snohomish County and Leadership Snohomish County.
Graham has previously written on issues regarding career development and advancement of women and millennials for The Seattle Times, and is a contributor to Black Career Women’s Network and Career Contessa.
Graham’s Herald column will run every other Wednesday.
Graham has already outlined for Herald editors a list of potential topics on which she intends to write, with attention focused on issues related to racial justice, the COVID pandemic’s impacts on working families and women’s concerns in the workplace and at home.
“I feel there are a lot of different topics I can write on, with a focus on social justice and equity, as well as career issues and empowerment,” she said.
She begins her new column during a time of heightened attention on racial and women’s issues, jumping in with both feet in her first column regarding the lack of attention to the importance of the lives of black women.
While the coronavirus pandemic has had immense negative effects on the lives of American families and individuals, Graham said the response to the crisis has also allowed people some time for introspection, which may explain the increase in attention to confronting issues of racism, justice and equity.
“We’re less exposed to distractions. People have more time now to expose themselves to the social issues going on, and it’s why we’re seeing such large-scale protests,” she said. “People are being forced to reckon with what’s going on.”
The Herald is gratified to add Graham’s voice to the discussion among our readers of these and other issues.
— Jon Bauer, Herald Opinion page editor