Garrison passed away on July 13, 2020, at the age of 92 in Seattle.
P.Raaze was born to parents Edward Raaze and Samantha Murrell on June 20, 1928, in St. Louis, MO. After graduating from Sumner High School in St. Louis, P.Raaze continued her education at Stowe Teachers College. She taught English in Japan for several years and returned to complete her undergraduate degree and Masters of Education.
P.Raaze was a gamechanger, not just with her grace and personal style, but also by leading the way with diversity and inclusivity in education, arts and culture. She integrated several schools by being the first African American teacher on staff. After teaching gifted students and then training other teachers to teach the gifted, P.Raaze achieved her goal of becoming a school principal. She was a smart, powerful educator.
P.Raaze won a housing discrimination case and decided that the win was in the battle, ultimately choosing to not reside in the property after all. She was the Seattle Art Museum’s first African American docent in 1995, ultimately receiving the Dorothy C. Malone Award for volunteerism at SAM. P.Raaze was elected to the Board of Trustees, followed by becoming an Honorary Trustee, a lifetime appointment. She supported local artists of color by giving a voice to the importance of their works.
P.Raaze is survived by her only child, Jai Sherril Black, and a “village” of close friends.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the P.Raaze Garrison Fund for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Seattle Art Museum.