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Washington's trailblazing Black senator is shaping the conversation on foster care and mental health

T’wina Nobles, who is Washington’s only Black state senator, speaks on the Mindful Headlines podcast about how her experience in foster care impacts her work.

Listen to Mindful Headlines on Apple, Google, Spotify, Podbean and Stitcher.

State Sen. T’wina Nobles sits down with Jessica Janner Castro on the “Mindful Headlines” podcast to discuss overcoming adversity in her life and how it’s inspired legislation she sponsored this legislative session.

Nobles made headlines last fall when she defeated Republican incumbent Steve O’Ban to represent the 28th Legislative District, which includes Lakewood, University Place, DuPont and parts of Tacoma. Nobles’ election was significant, because she became the first Black state senator in the Washington state Legislature since 2010.

“I don’t even recognize the magnitude of it all,” Nobles said. “I’m just so used to showing up and serving and doing for others.”

The senator has overcome several personal challenges that influence her drive to make change. Nobles experienced homelessness and was put in foster care as a teen. Nobles is now married with four kids and is the CEO of the Tacoma Urban League.

Nobles’ experience in foster care spurred her to sponsor her first bill to pass the Legislature, which requires public schools to designate an on-site contact for students in foster care to help coordinate resources. She also sponsored a bill that allows a sentencing court discretion on whether a mental health sentencing alternative may be enacted.

Even if you don’t agree with Nobles’ politics, on the podcast she’s shares an incredible story and message about staying true to your authentic self.

Background on legislation sponsored by Nobles

Senate Bill 5184: Establishes a contact in K-12 schools for all students in foster care.

Senate Bill 5293: Addressing mental health sentencing alternatives.

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"Mindful Headlines" is a news podcast about the Pacific Northwest that explores how our psychology intersects with current events.

The way we interact with our world is influenced by the way we perceive the world. In turn, our collective minds shape the issues that make headlines in our local communities and nationwide.