RARE Celebrates Outstanding Graduates of Color

/ February 25, 2024

Eighty-five outstanding graduates and staff were recognized at a ceremony on August 27 of this past year commemorating the 100th year anniversary of Roosevelt High School. Included in those recognized were 16 graduates and staff of color. These honorees were selected by a panel of graduates organized by the Roosevelt High School Foundation. Two of our RARE members participated in the selection process. The 85 honorees will be memorialized in a permanent display at RHS.

The criteria for recognition are:

  • Notable Professional Achievement and Career or Military Service Distinction: The recipient attained prominence through their efforts in commerce, industry, technology, medicine, law, agriculture, the arts, education, government, military or other worthy endeavors that form a record of impressive accomplishment.
  • Service to Society: The recipient exhibits integrity and a demonstrated commitment to service through an interest in bettering the lives of others through significant volunteer efforts.
  • Service and Support to Roosevelt High School: The recipient’s deeds and actions reflect the importance of their educational training, pride in alma mater and loyalty to RHS, as demonstrated through their interest in and support of the school and its programs.
  • Equity and Inclusion: The recipient has advanced racial equity, diversity, and inclusion through their work and has made significant contributions to changing racially inequitable systems.

The following are the alumni of color included in the list of RHS centennial honorees:

Allan L. Bergano, DDS ’71, Founder Filipino American National Historical Society; first Filipino American graduate of UW School of Dentistry

Ahndrea Blue ’87, Founder of Making a Difference Foundation; executive policy and legal advisor to Governor Gary Locke

Martha Choe ’71, member Seattle City Council and first Korean American to serve in a public office in the US; Chief Administrative Officer of the Gates Foundation

James A Davis Jr. ’71, Pioneer in racial equity efforts at RHS; President of New Jersey Federation of Housing Counselors and Agencies; namesake of RARE scholarship at RHS

Norris Frederick ’04 US Olympic athlete in track and field; Anti-bullying activist and cultural change agent

Albert Herron Jr. ’78, Founder & Executive Director of Stemtac Foundation; Board Member, Black Education Strategy Roundtable

Joe Hunter Jr. ’71, RARE Co-founder; among the first persons of color to achieve the position of District Manager at JC Penney

Wing Luke ’44, first Asian American member of Seattle City Council & RHS student body President; namesake of the Wing Luke Museum & Wing Luke Elementary School

TJ Martin ’97, Oscar and Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker known for films Undefeated and LA 92, a retrospective on the LA riots of 1965

Jonathan Moore ’87, Hip Hop music performer (stage name “Wordsayer”) and producer; Seattle’s “hip-hop ambassador” and “cultural mayor”

Anthony Ray ’81, ”Sir Mix-A-Lot” Grammy winning rap artist; philanthropist

David Tang, JD ’71, Chair of Washington Council on International Trade; Chair Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Partner at Perkins Coie

Reuben Van Kempen, Legendary RHS drama teacher-36 years; Educational Theater Association National Hall of Fame

Lea Vaughn ’71, UW Professor of Law; Deans Medal, Diversity in Scholarship and Service; Coordinator of RARE documentary Roosevelt High School: Beyond Black and White

Forrest Ward ’79, Legendary coach, and namesake of RARE’s Forest Ward Recognition Award, presented to students and staff whose daily actions at school improve the racial environment

Les Young ’71, Assistant Chief Washington State Patrol; Detachment Commander US Army Criminal Investigation Command


In addition, RARE celebrates the following individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusion:

Anthony Allison ’71, RARE Co-founder and Co- Chair; Founder and Chair, Partnerships for Nature; CEO Marine Resources International

David Guterson ’74, Author of Snow Falling on Cedars, award-winning and best-selling novel dealing with discrimination against Japanese Americans in the WW2 era

Mildred Woodward ’27, Bainbridge Island newspaper publisher who campaigned against Japanese internment in WW2 era