“I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. What I can do I ought to do and what I ought to do by the grace of God I will do”. Everett Hale Hon. Beverly (Johnson Grant) ret’d, came to Tacoma, Washington because as the oldest of five children, she wanted to see the World’s Fair. She asked her father who was an Army Infantry Officer if he could get stationed to a location where this goal could be accomplished. She was Tacoma’s first African American Daffodil Princess, representing Stadium High School in 1969; worked as a federal law clerk and of counsel to a large law firm in Tacoma; practiced law in California and Washington. She served as a Pierce County Superior Court from 4/ 2003-1/2013. She retired from being a judge and opened up her own law practice in 2014. She is the proud mother of two adult children, Jonathan and Arin.

BEVERLY GRANT

Attorney at Law, Retired Pierce County Superior Court Judge
Fighting for Employees’ Rights

Erin Guinup’s pursuit of creative, uplifting, and service-oriented work has been the driving force behind her varied musical vocation.

She is a conductor, soprano, voice teacher, corporate voice specialist, author, and public speaker. Erin is the founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Tacoma Refugee Choir, a nonprofit dedicated to building a more welcoming community through song. A frequent concert soloist, her internationally performed one-woman show has been praised as “an amazing tour-de-force.” Other career highlights include conducting the world premiere of Orson Scott Card and Mark Mitchell’s He is There, annual performances of Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God and Handel’s Messiah, and witnessing her students achieve success on Broadway, regional theatre and operatic stages, and television.

ERIN GUINUP

CEO, Pierce County YWCASinger and Conductor, Founder
of Tacoma Refugee Choir

RAMONA BENNETT

Former Chair of the Puyallup
Tribal Council, American Indian Fishing Rights Activist

“I don’t believe any women can be totally liberated until their society is liberated, until their families are liberated, and we have no liberated citizens so long as my people are suffering and dying. This is my condition. We are moving for the liberation of our whole community. We are moving for economic and social liberation.”

Former Chairwoman, Puyallup Tribe; Co-Founder, Rainbow Youth and Family Services. Best known for fishing rights struggle, regaining ownership of Cascadia/Cushman hospital property, and establishing Indian Childwellfare Rights. Actively involved in cultural recovery and Indian freedom of religion. Bennett earned an MA in Education from the University of Puget Sound in 1981, and received an honorary Doctorate of Public Affairs from the school in 2000. In 2003, the Native Action Network awarded her with its Enduring Spirit Award. She is a socialist feminist, wife, mother to her own children and her foster children.

Tamiko Nimura, a third-generation Japanese American and second-generation Filipina American, is a freelance writer, essayist, community journalist, and public historian. Though she moved to Tacoma in 2004, she fell in love with the story of the city's historic Japantown while writing about it in 2014. Her academic training in literature and American ethnic studies prepared her for her current projects in storytelling, arts writing, public history, social justice, and community service. She is inspired by her family’s enduring love of books, the arts, and education, as well as her wider community's collective, intergenerational spirit of “kodomo no tame ni” (for the sake of the children). She lives with her composer husband, Josh Parmenter, and their two daughters in Tacoma.

TAMIKO NIMURA

Japanese American Historian and
Freelance Writer

2018 Storyteller Bios