Sarah Haycox recognized with MLK Medal of Distinguished Service for efforts to honor the life of Edwin T. Pratt

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Metropolitan King County Council Chair Rod Dembowski and Councilmember Larry Gossett with Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service recipient Sarah Haycox and her family.
Sarah is the youngest recipient of council award. Photo by King County Communications

To Shoreline resident Sarah Haycox, civil rights activist Edwin T. Pratt is more than a tragic footnote in the city of Shoreline’s past; he is living history. Sarah’s efforts to honor the life of the former director of the Seattle Urban League was recognized today by the Metropolitan King County Council when Haycox received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service. The 11-year old Haycox is the youngest recipient of the award.

“Sarah is an inspiration and a shining example in our community,” said Council Chair Rod Dembowski, who nominated Haycox for the award. “She has worked tirelessly, with dedication and persistence, to honor the life and legacy of Edwin T. Pratt, and I want to thank her for helping to educate the community and keep his memory and contributions alive both in District One and across King County.”

Mr. Pratt invested his life in justice and economic parity for all, and was instrumental in the efforts to desegregate schools and fight housing discrimination in the Seattle area. His family was the first black family to move into his Shoreline neighborhood. Pratt also supported workforce development and education programs through advocacy. In 1969, he was assassinated on the steps of his home; no one has been prosecuted for his death.

Ms. Haycox learned about Edwin T. Pratt after noticing a small plaque dedicated to him at Shoreline Park, and researching his history at the Shoreline Historical Museum. Seeing his impact not only in Shoreline, but in all of King County, Sarah started working to establish greater recognition for his life and accomplishments. Efforts that started with a successful petition to have the Shoreline School District name a building in Pratt’s honor, continue today, with Sarah helping Pratt’s family travel to Seattle recently to attend the dedication of the Edwin T. Pratt Early Learning Center, and raising funds to commission a local artist of color to create a mural for the new building, ensuring that generations to come will know the life and legacy of Edwin T. Pratt.

The MLK Medal of Distinguished Service recognizes those who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make a difference in communities across King County in answer to Dr. King’s question: “What are you doing for others?”


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