Ethiopian Community in Seattle

The Ethiopian Community in Seattle's (ECS) mission is to facilitate a seamless integration of all persons of Ethiopian origin with mainstream United States. Additionally, ECS aims to contribute to the social, cultural and civic life of the Puget Sound Area as well as assisting Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans to preserve and share their ancient and rich cultural heritage.

Show All
Share our page on: Share to Facebook Share to Twitter
Address: 8323 Rainier Ave A.
Seattle, WA 98118
Phone Number: 206-325-0304
EIN: 91-1288919
ECS traces its roots back to 1980 when Ethiopians in Seattle gathered to discuss the formation of a local organization focused on preserving culture and enhancing camaraderie. By 1983, as Ethiopian refugees began arriving in greater numbers, the association named itself the Ethiopian Refugee Association and established community members volunteered to provide services to newly arrived families such as interpretation services, basic English language training, and transportation to social service agencies and appointments. Many association members also "adopted" newly arrived refugee families to ease their transition to a new and unfamiliar country.

In 1987, the organization was renamed the Ethiopian Community Mutual Association and then in 2012, it was renamed the Ethiopian Community in Seattle. Today ECS creates opportunities for economic and cultural development, educational advancement, and recreation for Ethiopians in the Puget Sound area, including new arrivals needing culturally relevant support and assistance; adopted Ethiopian children and their families who seek connections with the local Ethiopian community; and the broader community of East Africans in our area. ECS makes it a priority to reach out to all groups, encouraging pride in identity and maintenance of a rich cultural and linguistic heritage.

Our primary activities consist of the following programs and services: bilingual/bicultural case management services, job placement support, community referrals, English as a Second Language classes, health and nutrition education, youth tutoring and youth development, senior support services, cultural events, and community celebrations.
ECS is led by an active thirteen-member Board of Directors comprised entirely of members of the Ethiopian community. The ECS Board is made up of individuals from diverse professional, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. The diversity of representation is important because there are nearly a dozen ethnic groups and 80 languages (plus approximately 200 dialects) spoken in Ethiopia alone. Our community membes are actively engaged in the mission and work of ECS. We rely on a strong base of dedicated volunteers, the majority of whom are East African community members, to fulfill a myriad of roles in ECS leadership and community work. Our programs engage community members in roles such as computer skills tutors, Amharic language teachers, citizenship assistance, literacy tutors, and community mobilization.