Top of the Town

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Thank you for joining us on May 6th, 2021

Did you miss the live show? You can still join in. Please consider donating, watch the 3-minute “About Community Roots” video and tell a friend, or share one thing you find meaningful about community-centric fundraising with a colleague (or three).


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Top of the Town brings together community leaders, developers, and friends who believe in creating an affordable and inclusive Seattle. This year, we were excited to feature thought leader Vu Le and his incisive observations on social justice issues. Because the event was virtual, we get to invite even more of our community than in the past.

Despite being physically spread out across the region, we can still came together to focus on a belief that unites us:

Everyone has the right to a quality, affordable home.

At Community Roots Housing, this truth drives our work. Join us to help make this right truly accessible for more of our neighbors in the Seattle area.  Event donations, ticket sales, and partnerships will fund our work of supporting residents, strengthening communities, and creating more affordable homes. 

Keynote speaker Vu Le

Vu Le (“voo lay”) writes the blog, Nonprofit AF. His passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. 

Vu is part of the leadership at Community-Centric Fundraising, a fundraising model grounded in equity and social justice that prioritizes the entire community over individual organizations, fosters a sense of belonging and interdependence, presents work holistically instead of as individual transactions, and encourages mutual support between nonprofits.

About Community Roots Housing

By embracing community-led development and engaging in deep-rooted partnerships, we’re fostering vibrant, equitable communities where everyone has access to quality, affordable and welcoming homes. Today, with nearly 50 apartment buildings – over 2,000 residents — we continue our commitment to build community with and for people.

In keeping with the rapid growth of Seattle, we also have a real estate development pipeline of nine buildings with 1,000 new affordable homes over the next five years.

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Donation Total: $50.00 One Time

Event details

This year Top of the Town was centered around the intersection of social equity, housing affordability, and philanthropy. We know these are interlocking pieces that exist within larger systems, with inequities that urgently need to be addressed. Vu Le’s deep experience in the field of nonprofit work and social justice shined a light on enacting change which prioritizes collective community over individual organizational missions. We are honored to have amplified his message and  join together in conversation to rethink the dynamics of philanthropy in support of housing justice for our whole community.

We are deeply grateful for all the support from our many donors and other partners in our work. 


Run of show

Derrick Belgarde

Derrick Belgarde is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon, and also Chippewa-Cree from Rocky Boy Montana. Derrick is currently the Executive Director of the Chief Seattle Club, a day-center that assists urban Native Americans. He serves on the boards of Community Roots Housing and DESC, and on the Housing Development Consortium.

He completed his undergraduate in Public Affairs magna cum laude, and went on to complete his Master’s in Public Administration, both at Seattle University. He is a proud father of three and is married to the wonderful Lua Belgarde.

Sili Savusa

Sili Savusa is currently the Executive director of the White Center Community Development Association, a non-traditional Community Development Corporation which promotes authentic resident leadership opportunities and community-led, neighborhood initiatives.

As a leader in the region and long-time community advocate, Sili has over 30 years of experience in anti-racist organizing with a focus on Pacific Islander communities and Communities of Color. 

Her distinguished work in community and non-profits includes systems level policy development, cross cultural coalition building, and building creative ways to help philanthropy and institutions understand and build relationships with community. 

Multiply your impact

Table captains help introduce new folks to our work, by filling their “table” with your friends, colleagues, and family who share our belief that everyone has the right to a quality, affordable home. 

Thank you to all our table captains, who helped bring more attendees than ever to Top of the Town!

Table Captain Information

Thank you to our table captains

  • Davin and Laura Dhatt
  • Dean Kralios
  • Donna Moodie
  • Jeff Reibman
  • Laurie Walloch
  • Margaret Pak Enslow
  • Robin Brownstein
  • Ruby True
  • Sabrina Tinsley
  • Sarah Shoemake-Gamble
  • Teri Orella

Event presented by:
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