Born in Jamaica, raised in Chicago, and now a resident of Seattle for over 20 years, Donna Moodie is well acquainted with the interconnectedness of social justice, community building, and neighborhood activism. Her passion for service and bringing communities together presents itself in both her work with Community Roots Housing and Marjorie Restaurant.
Moodie opened Marjorie in 2003, naming it after her mother as a tribute to her love for entertaining and cooking. Moodie divides her time between running the restaurant and being the executive director of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict initiative through Community Roots Housing, which works to improve sustainability and environmental health in the neighborhood.
“(Marjorie) has created a gathering of community. I feel like I’ve been able to use that as a platform to share a lot of ideas I have about food, social justice and the quality of food.”
Marjorie is Moodie’s third restaurant. Her first, Marco’s Supper club in Belltown, she opened in 1993 with her previous partner using their life savings. In 1997, the couple then opened Lush Life in Belltown, which Moodie transformed into Marjorie in 2003 after they split up.
Moodie became executive director of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict at Community Roots in January 2020, expanding her role to the Executive Vice President of Community Roots Housing, with a focus on Community Development. The Capitol Hill EcoDistrict is a passion fueled department of Community Roots Housing focused on building environmental resilience through a lens of social justice and racial equity.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Community Roots Housing focused on rent relief and community engagement while in isolation. The EcoDistrict is also working to create a student-based health center at Lowell Elementary School. Moodie also spearheaded a program that delivers meals to their affordable housing residents who lost income due to the coronavirus.
Moodie serves on the Grist Board, participates in the Central Area and Capitol Hill Land Use Review Committees, has served on several Mayoral commissions and task forces, and serves on the Seattle Center Advisory Commission. She was a founding board member of the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation, chaired the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas Board. As a consultant, Moodie has advised food business startups and architects on diversity and inclusion and continues to advocate for the support and success of small businesses. She also serves on the Sentinel Event Review Panel, participating in creating an analysis of the protest events of 2020, in hopes to reform a system to inform better outcomes.
Donna enjoys food and wine, dinner parties, the arts, paddleboarding and travel.