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Galen sits cross-legged on a boat dock, wearing a gray sweater over a red turtleneck.
Media Caption
Galen Motin Crawford offers a glimpse into her celebration of Black History Month and definition of Black joy.

Inside Sound Transit: Celebrating and sharing Black history

Publish Date

Every February, Sound Transit commemorates Black History Month by raising the Pan African flag outside our Union Station headquarters. 

We also love sharing the ways that our employees celebrate. For Galen Motin Crawford, senior communications specialist, it's about community and pride. 

Crawford joined Sound Transit in 2016 after working in communications for the Seattle Aquarium, Fred Hutch and the Bainbridge Island School District.

She started her career in broadcast journalism as a reporter for a Black public affairs news magazine in New York, then as a news reporter for Seattle’s KIRO 7.

"Black History Month is important to me because there is such a vast amount of African American history to learn about, celebrate and share, and everything I learn increases my pride and understanding of who and why I am," Crawford said. 

One example: she lived in New York City for 13 years with no idea that Central Park was once home to Seneca Village, a thriving community consisting predominantly of African American property owners.

This month, she have been encouraging members of her multi-racial, open and affirming church to learn the words to the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” 

"To understand the importance of racial justice, we need to understand that we have all come 'over a way that with [Black] tears has been watered,' she said. "The more we learn about the past, the greater our responsibility to honor, remember and work for equality, which is the only way any of us can truly be free."

Galen high-fives a dancer at a Black History Month celebration.
A Sound Transit Black History Month Celebration in 2020.

Now, on to the questions!

Q: What do you tell your friends you do for work?

A: I tell friends that I am a writer for Sound Transit; that I help connect employees to what is happening across the agency and that I also write and edit for north and east corridor teams. I love to make people feel and get to do that by striving to communicate clearly, correctly and passionately.

Q: What’s your passion outside of your job?

A: Outside my job, my children are my greatest passion. One just moved to Montana, which is driving me a bit crazy. However, he is doing exactly what I did early in my career—being a complete free spirit—so I can’t really complain. The one who lives here is preparing to get married. Spending time with her, especially during this moment of her life, is a real joy.

Q: What attracted you to work at Sound Transit?

A: I was part of the Way to Go, Seattle “One-Less-Car pilot study.” My family had to give up driving our second car and submit daily reports on how we got around. We received a weekly study stipend, and at the end, the project tallied our savings to the environment and to our own households. It was an eye-opening experience to learn that we could reduce drive-alone trips and the accompanying mileage and emissions. We discovered we could get around with one car—even with small children—and enjoy doing things more as a family in the process. Having lived in New York City without a car, I wanted to help get people out of theirs.

Q: How do you get to work?

A: Currently, I primarily work remotely, but I am only five minutes from Sounder South, which is my favorite way to get to the office.

Q: What three things would you take with you to a desert island (besides food and water)?

A: I would take books (I guess a book), a small harp and matches with me to a deserted island.

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