Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Worthy publicity workshop!

June 24th, 2009
Publici-Tea: A High Value DIY Publicity Workshop

A Two-Hour Publici-Tea High Value DIY Publicity Workshop and Q&A Session with Puget Sound Business Journal. Are you tired of not having enough clients in the pipeline to keep your business humming along? Are you ready to deploy the impact of FREE PUBLICITY to your buzz building advantage to share your message over a wider audience of potential, perfect clients? If YES is your answer to these questions, help is close at hand. This information-packed event will educate, inspire, and support your efforts to earn do-it-yourself publicity so your business success story can be seen and heard.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Follow me on twitter: cultureadvocate

Thursday, June 11, 2009

People of Color Meet & Greet with 2009 Local Candidates

People of Color Meet & Greet with 2009 Local Candidates

12 Jun 2009 (Fri) 05:30 -07:30

Location O'Asian, 800 5th Ave., Suite Plaza 1, Seattle, WA 98104

More than a dozen candidates have filed for the 4 positions that are up on the Seattle City Council. At least 4 people are vying for King County Executive, the seat left open by Ron Sims. More people may come out of the woodwork before the filing deadline in June. None of these candidates are people of color. Are you going to know who to vote for in the August primaries? Who will understand the needs of our immigrant communities and communities of color? Find out by attending: People of Color Meet and Greet with 2009 Local Candidates Hosted by People of Color Political Action Committees for people of color to meet local candidates and find out where they stand on the issues impacting our community. Meet candidates for:Seattle City CouncilSeattle Port CommissionKing County ExecutiveMayor of Seattleand more…
When: Friday, June 12, 5:30PM
Where: O'Asian800 5th Avenue, Suite Plaza 1Seattle, WA 98104

RSVP by sending an email to lpacwa@gmail.com. or find us on Facebook! Hosted by People of Color Political Action Committees:Latino PAC of WashingtonNorthwest Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans - PACNative Women’s Political CaucusDisclaimer: The above races are non-partisan races and the organization of this event by the above PACs should not be construed as an endorsement of any one or all of the several candidates that may be in attendance. This event is designed to keep voters in our immigrant communities and communities of color informed about local races and the candidates that seek to represent them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

More events worth going to!

**FRI MAY 8, 3:30 - 5:30 pm, at University of Washington, HUB 106-B, Seattle; Patterns of INDIGENOUS MOBILITY: GUATEMALA, MEXICO AND THE U.S. A conference on indigenous migration presented by the Department of American Ethnic Studies in collaboration with the National Autonomous University of Mexico to mark the establishment of the UNAM's Office for the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada. info AES, 206-543-4343 or aes@u.washington.edu

*FRI MAY 8, 7:30 p.m., at Saint Mark Cathedral, Leffler House Living Room, 1245 10th Ave E, Seattle; Friday Film Nights at the Saint Mark's film night, is a community of film lovers, social activists, and lifelong learners who gather to watch and discuss compelling films from around the globe in order to expand our worldview about people, the environment, current issues, cultures, and global spirituality. Together we watch and discuss foreign gems, dramas, documentaries, family films, and American blockbusters. WOMEN'S REBELLION AGAINST TRADITION AND AUTHORITY Moolade (2004, NR, 124 minutes) "An inspiring story, set in Burkina Faso, about a group of women who stand up for their rights against the traditions of their village; When a woman shelters a group of girls from suffering female circumcision, she starts a conflict that tears her village apart. Moolaade illuminates the agonies of women in some parts of Africa and leaves you admiring their bravery and resolve." Winner: Cannes Film Festival, National Society of Film Critics Awards, Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival, Marrakech Int'l Film Fest. info Kevin Meadows FilmNights@saintmarks.org or http://www.SaintMarks.org

**SAT MAY 9, 10 am - 5 pm, International Humanitarian Law Today: The LASTING CONSEQUENCES OF WAR. In Honor of World Red Cross Day, the American Red Cross serving King & Kitsap Counties is putting together an INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW SEMINAR, which will feature speakers from the ICRC, Clear Path International, the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (W.A.R.N.), as well as a panel of Immigrants and Refugees. This unique event will provide the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear experts on International Humanitarian Law speak about their areas of expertise, and find ways of getting involved in your own community! Please RSVP to Andrea Kao at andrea.kao@seattleredcross.org or 206-726- 3554

SAT MAY 9, and subsequent 2nd Saturdays, 10 am, at Northwest Leadership Foundation, 717 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma; HATE FREE ZONE FAMILY MEETINGS: Please join us for a family meeting for those who have been AFFECTED BY DETENTION AND DEPORTATION. Families are encouraged to share their stories and learn about their human rights. Meetings are meant to provide support for families and an opportunity to advocate for change. info Deena 206-723- 2203 ext. 209 or deena@hatefreezone.org tollfree helpline 1-866-HFZONE1 (1-866-439-6631) [added 11/7/07]

SAT MAY 9, and subsequent 2nd Saturdays, please confirm at website, 10 am, at the cafe in Third Place Books- Ravenna; SEATTLE ESPERANTO SOCIETY, the Seattle chapter of an international peace movement. The meeting is an informal discussion and language practice; beginners are welcome. info http://seattleesperanto.org, Free online Esperanto lessons at http://www.lernu.net

TUES MAY 19, and subsequent 3rd Tuesdays, 6 - 8 pm, at Pacific Gender Center, 1812 E Madison, Seattle; Seattle Police Department/LGBTQ Advisory Council Meeting. The Seattle POLICE DEPARTMENT'S SEXUAL MINORITIES/LGBTQ ADVISORY COUNCIL is a Council established by the Police Department to increase relationships and communications between the community and the Department. info 206-684- 8760 or Daniel Dueball: Daniel.Dueball@seattle.gov or http://www.seattlelgbt.org [updated 12/21/08]

TUES MAY 19, and subsequent 3rd Tuesdays, but please confirm, 6 - 8 p.m., at Boards & Commissions room, Floor L2, City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, downtown Seattle; Public Meeting on POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY held by the Office of Police Accountability Review Panel (OPARB), info 206-684- 8146 or opareviewboard@seattle.gov, Listen to meetings in progress on the Boards & Commissions Listen 206-684-4718

Check out my blog: A young professional's guide to civic engagement in Seattle: http://www.involvedseattleite.blogspot.com/

"Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours." - Cesar Chavez

Human Rights Events

The Economic Crisis and its Impact on Communities of Color. When: Friday, May 8, 2009 (12-5pm) Where: Seattle Public Library- Douglass-Truth Branch, 2300 Yesler Way RSVP: Please email Sarah Studer at the Social Justice Fund NW to RSVP to this event. Space is limited, lunch will be provided. The event will include a keynote presentation on the racial dimensions of the economic crisis, a panel of community leaders who will talk about impacts on communities of color, and speakers from the philanthropic community who will talk about the implications for funding. There will also be a small group strategy session. Our goals are to 1) understand the economic crisis and its impact on communities of color, and 2) to identify strategies and best practices to better support communities of color. This forum is co-sponsored by the members of POCPN and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). It was inspired by a town-hall forum last December on the economic crisis hosted by IPS and co-sponsored by SJF. Also , the Network is operating out of and being staffed at the Social Justice Fund NW. I’ve updated http://www.pocpn.org to be a blog-based website which allows us to more easily update the site with job opportunities, workshops/trainings, and interesting articles from the field. POCPN is also on Facebook! Become a fan!

Saturday, May 9, The Lasting Consequence of War - including panel of refugees. The event, described below, will take place at Highpoint Library (3411 SW Raymond St., Seattle). The First Person Testimonials (3:15-4:00) will feature three refugee/immigrant community leaders from Burma (a recently arrived Karen), Sudan (Harriet Dumba, co-founder of http://www.hah-s.org [http://www.hah-s.org]), and Congo (Longondo "Das" Eteni). --- In honor of World Red Cross Day, the American Red Cross serving King & Kitsap Counties is hosting a full-day International Humanitarian Law event including speakers from the ICRC, Clear Path International, the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (W.A.R.N.), and a panel of immigrants and refugees. See below for the program agenda. Please RSVP with Andrea Kao at andrea.kao@seattleredcross.org [us.mc396.mail.yahoo.com] or (206) 726- 3554 and forward to any and all potentially interested parties.

Applications are out for 2009 Tyree Scott Freedom School!!! AFSC, Village of Hope, and People’s Institute NW brings you the 9th Annual: TYREE SCOTT FREEDOM SCHOOL July 27th - 31st, 2009 - Seattle, Washington 10:00am-4:30pm Daily Freedom School is for youth ages 15 21 to learn about racism and organize to undo it. We take field trips around the city, learn anti-racist community organizing skills, and listen to community elders. We learn about why people are poor and break down the education system, the media, and the criminal justice system. We come together to create change and share culture. Freedom School is completely free and lunch is provided each day. *It is important that everyone comes each day and stays the entire time* Please mail this application to: 814 NE 40th St, Seattle WA, 98105 or fax to 206-632-0976 or email to dwashington@afsc.org Application Deadline: Tuesday, June 30th Space is limited and Freedom School fills up quickly so apply right away! Questions, Contact Dustin Washington at dwashington@afsc.org or (206) 632-0500 x14

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Upcoming events of interest

Questions for City Councilmembers? Email your questions now for Councilmembers Jan Drago, Bruce Harrell and Tom Rasmussen on this month’s edition of City Inside/Out: Council Edition. The show premieres Wednesday, April 22, 7 p.m., Cable 21, http://www.seattlechannel.org SEATTLE Do you have questions for Seattle City Councilmembers? What is the Council planning to do about the City’s $43 million budget deficit? How are the City’s new recycling rules working for you? What’s the latest on replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct? The April episode of City Inside/Out: Council Edition features Seattle City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen, Jan Drago and Bruce Harrell answering your questions. Host C.R. Douglas will also raise the key issues facing Seattle. Send in your questions now by simply responding to this email or visit the City Inside/Out: Council Edition web site at http://www.seattlechannel.org/CouncilEdition any time the inspiration strikes you. Don't pass up this opportunity to dialogue with your elected leaders! Then tune in Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. on SEATTLE CHANNEL, Cable 21, to get answers.

**MON APRIL 20, 10:30 a.m., at Council Chambers, City
Hall, 600 4th Avenue, downtown Seattle; Seattle City
Council BUDGET COMMITTEE. Presentations on Proposed
changes to the 2009 General Fund Operating Budget, and time
for public comment. info and confirmation 206-684-8888 or

Washington Educators for Social Justice (WE4SJ) Advocacy - Activism – Action On the Road to Educational Justice 2nd Annual Conference April 25, 2009 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Pacific Lutheran University http://www.plu.edu Tacoma, WA The second annual Advocacy, Activism and Action conference is on the way! The 2009 conference will provide attendees with a range of opportunities to find their path to educational justice. There will be six interactive workshops this year, facilitated by leading scholars and social justice activists in the Pacific Northwest. The workshops will focus on: advocacy, social justice, critical issues, activism, frameworks, and new visions for the education system. The 2009 conference will also feature two plenary sessions by some of the most transformative leaders for social justice in the Pacific Northwest. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend a film screening of a documentary on social justice. In addition, the 2009 conference will include poster presentations that represent diverse perspectives on educational justice and it will showcase an interactive timeline that highlights milestones or key events in the struggle for human rights. At the close of the conference, attendees will have an opportunity to synthesize the activities of the day and chart their course for educational justice. The goal for the 2009 conference is to build community and empower ourselves to embark on the long road to educational justice. This conference is open to all members of the learning community. NOTE: Clock hours will be available from Tacoma Public Schools. For more information and to register visit: http://www.we4sj.org <http://www.we4sj.org/> or contact: Washington Educators for Social Justice: we4social.justice@gmail.com <mailto:HYPERLINK "mailto:we4social.justice@gmail.com"we4social.justice@gmail.com>

Ending the Drug War Where: CAMP; 722 - 18th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122 What: Invitation to Workshop When: Thursday, April 30, 2009 / 6:00pm to 8:30pm Who: Racial Disparity Project, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Village of Hope, Peoples’ Institute Northwest Why: To develop an anti-racist collective of community partners to combat the War on Drugs You are invited to participate in a workshop on Saturday, November 22 from 10am to 4:30pm with other community members concerned about the disproportionate impact of the Drug War on Communities of Color. If you want to impact policies that affect our community and families, this workshop can help! This workshop is being conducted to develop an anti-racist strategy that community members and activists can use to End The War on Drugs. It is time to move from a criminal justice response to a public health model. Drug abuse and addiction is an illness that for too long has gone unaddressed and untreated. This workshop will include: w An anti racist analysis of the Drug War w Opportunities to share how the war on drugs has affected all of us and our work w Effective multicultural organizing strategies to shift the focus of the “war on drugs” to a public health approach Seating is limited. Respond immediately.. Members of the organizing committee will contact you regarding availability of seats. This workshop is free, but a suggested donation of $25 will be accepted. To register for the workshop, contact: John Page 206-250-7737 jpage@afsc.org

Monday, April 6, 2009

Scholarship for school during the recession

Gov. Gregoire attends announcement of new scholarship program for laid-off workersCity University now offering $10 million to help unemployed and community college students OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today joined City University President Lee Gorsuch as he announced the university’s $10 million “Scholarships for Tomorrow’s Careers” program to help 1,000 laid-off workers as well as community and technical college students who may be unable to transfer to a public four-year university. “These scholarships represent not just an opportunity for Washingtonians to earn undergraduate or graduate degrees, they also provide Washington employers with more men and women prepared for the 21st century economy once this recession ends,” Gregoire said. “Hundreds of these scholarships will be awarded to recently laid-off workers, giving them hope and purpose to improve their lives and the lives of their families.” “The best long-term strategy in the midst of this global economic recession is to make yourself more competitive by getting your education,” Gorsuch said. “City University of Seattle is in a unique position, as a private, not-for-profit university, to be able to help our neighbors by funding 1,000 scholarships for laid-off workers and community and technical college students who may otherwise be unable to go to school. As the economic crisis continues to unfold, it becomes more important than ever for all of us to identify where we can extend a hand to our community and make a difference.” To help community and technical students now struggling to afford or find a slot at a public four-year university, City University is offering 600 tuition scholarships worth $10,800 each. The university is working with community and technical college leaders to identify potentially eligible students who will graduate with an associate’s degree this academic year. In addition, the university is offering 400 scholarships worth $10,800 each to Washingtonians who recently lost their job and want to complete their bachelor or graduate degree. “The more education and training people have, the more likely they are to get a job and keep a job, and they will typically earn more money,” said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. “A college education truly enriches people’s lives.” Through the “Scholarships for Tomorrow’s Careers” program, students can afford tuition through a combination of the tuition scholarships, available student financial aid, federal Pell grants, and tax credits. The scholarships are discounts on tuition for two years. The program may be renewed next year following a financial and student need assessment next fall. For more information on City University, visit: http://www.cityu.edu/.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

City Council Process Demystified

City Council Process Demystified

*WEDS APRIL 29, 6:30 - 8 pm,
Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Alliance
650 S. Orcas St., Suite 220, Seattle

Be The Change! Workshop: Seattle CITY COUNCIL PROCESS DEMYSTIFIED. Learn how to effect change within the City of Seattle. City Council President Richard Conlin will present an overview of the City Council process and how to provide input on city ordinances and resolutions. The workshop will discuss the formal and informal rules of taking part in the City Council process. Free! info and to register visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/299192894

Monday, March 23, 2009

City Council Process Demystified

*WEDS APRIL 29, 6:30 - 8 pm, at EOS Alliance Offices, 650S. Orcas St., Suite 220, Seattle; Be The Change! Workshop:Seattle CITY COUNCIL PROCESS DEMYSTIFIED. Learn how toeffect change within the City of Seattle. City CouncilPresident Richard Conlin will present an overview of theCity Council process and how to provide input on cityordinances and resolutions. The workshop will discuss theformal and informal rules of taking part in the CityCouncil process. Free! info and to register visithttp://www.eventbrite.com/event/299192894

Get Engaged: You know you want to!

Hey folks,

Here is a great program to get civicly engaged in Seattle, I just happen to run it haha. Nah but really, please consider applying !

Mayor Nickels Seeks Young Adults for City Boards & Commissions

SEATTLE - Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is looking for people aged 18-29 interested in making a difference through public service. As part of the YMCA’s Get Engaged program, Nickels will appoint people in this age group to 13 of the city’s boards and commissions this fall.

The Get Engaged program aims to give young adults a voice in city government & foster long-term citizen participation in government. Participants serve on boards and commissions that advise city government on a variety of issues including human rights, historical preservation, city planning and the arts.

In addition to being appointed to a year-long term as voting commissioners, participants join a group of inspired young adults who are dedicated to making Seattle a better place to live through community building and leadership development. Get Engaged is an innovative program that is a partnership between the City of Seattle and the Metrocenter YMCA. The program’s goal is to cultivate the next generation of leaders by highlighting the importance and value of young adults in community affairs.

If you are an adult between the ages of 18-29, reside in the city of Seattle and are interested in applying to the Get Engaged program or want more information, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/boards.htm or contact Alexandra Davis, Metrocenter YMCA, at (206) 382-5005, or via email at getengaged@seattleymca.org

All application materials and instructions are at: http://www.seattleymca.org/page.cfm?ID=mcPrograms&locationID=14&catId=14&#cat14

The application deadline is April 19, 2009



Alexandra Davis | Civic Engagement Programs Director
Metrocenter YMCA| 909 Fourth Avenue| Seattle, WA 98104
Office 206.382.5005| Fax 206.382.7894
adavis@seattleymca.org |www.metrocenterymca.org
Check out my blog: https://www.involvedseattleite.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Environmental Justice from a Native Perspective- Free Event

This is a great event worth going to and it is free. She is a wonderful speaker and it is a great topic to learn more about.

WINONA LADUKE Environmental Justice from a Native Perspective
DATE TIME: Thursday, March 19, 2009 7 p.m.
LOCATION: The Bush School New Gym

Writer and activist Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is known not only for her work fighting for Native American and women’s rights but also the protection of the earth. She will discuss a range of issues - including climate change and sustainable energy, genetic food modification, freedom of religion for Native Americans, and the role of women in politics.

LaDuke graduated from Harvard in 1982 and is the founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project. She also serves as the co-chair of the Indigenous Women’s Network and program director of Honor the Earth. In 1996 and 2000, LaDuke ran for Vice President of the United States on the Green Party ticket headed by Ralph Nader. For more information, go to www.nativeharvest.com/winona_laduke.

UPCOMING: YONG ZHAO Rethinking Education in The Age of Globalization DATE TIME: Monday, April 27, 2009 - 7 p.m. LOCATION: The Bush School Community Room ABOUT THE DIVERSITY SPEAKER SERIES The Bush School Diversity Speaker Series is free and open to the public. Unless noted, events will be held at: The Bush School 3400 E. Harrison St., Seattle www.bush.edu/diversity CONTACT: Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., Director of Diversity 206-326-7731 eddie.moorejr@bush.edu SPONSORS: ACLU - www.aclu-wa.org Associated Recreation Council Cross-Cultural Connections, LLC Edward E. Ford Foundation Epiphany School FTS Counseling, PS KBCS 91.3 fm - www.kbcs.fm King County Civil Rights Commission Mount Zion Baptist Church North Seattle Community College Puget Sound ESD The Safe Schools Coalition Seattle Office of Civil Rights Seattle Public Schools Seattle University Starbucks SPS CLOCK HOURS: Participants who attend a one-hour pre-lecture workshop and the lecture/discussion are eligible for three clock hours at a cost of $6 ($2/hour). Please bring a check made out to Seattle Public Schools. We are unable to offer clock hours for the lecture only. Contact Raymond C. Williams, Equity and Race Relations Specialist, at 206-252-0238 or rcwilliams@seattleschools.org with questions.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Film Premier, A Powerful Noise- Empower women and fight poverty

FYI Film premier, A Powerful Noise, Mar. 5,various area theaters A Powerful Noise film premier March 5, 2009

Various area theaters, including: ·
AMC Pacific Place 11- Downtown Seattle ·
Bella Bottega 11 Cinema – Redmond ·
Alderwood 7 Theatres – Lynnwood ·
AMC Kent Station 14 - Kent
To purchase tickets, click: Please buy your tickets now ==================================================================== I hope that many of you will join me on March 5 for the premier of the film A Powerful Noise. Consider your ticket a donation to this amazing campaign to fight poverty in 74 countries, including Afghanistan, Darfur, and Haiti, to name a few. Their new campaign makes the case for fighting poverty by empowering women, and idea that is actually working amazingly well in some of most unlikely places.

From: Helene D. Gayle, CARE

In celebration of International Women’s Day, CARE and NCM Fathom — in partnership with ONE and the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women — will present A POWERFUL NOISE Live in more than 450 theatres nationwide for one night only on Thursday, March 5, 2009. The evening will begin with a screening of the acclaimed documentary “A Powerful Noise.” This remarkable film features three inspiring women, who overcome daily challenges to achieve significant victories over poverty and oppression: Madame Urbain — an activist working to educate and empower young women and girls in the slums of Bamako, Mali Bui My Hanh — an HIV-positive widow helping others combat the spread of HIV and the social stigma associated with the disease in Vietnam Nada Markovic — a survivor of the brutal Bosnian War bringing women together to rebuild their once-tranquil community These women are changing the world. Their stories will inspire you to join them.

Immediately following the film, I will be joined by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, CARE Advocate Christy Turlington Burns, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and actress and activist Natalie Portman for a town hall discussion broadcast live into your theatre. The film’s executive producer Sheila C. Johnson will be on hand to make a special announcement! Tickets are limited — purchase yours today!

The evening promises to leave you encouraged and empowered. Your ticket to this event is a passport into the lives of powerful women who are overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to transform their communities. And you’ll find out concrete steps you can take to help make a big difference in the fight against global poverty. Please buy your tickets now to this once-in-a-lifetime event. Better yet, spread the word — bring your family, friends, co-workers, church group, civic club, anyone you can think of for this special night out — all for a great cause! More than 30 percent of ticket purchases (based on estimated ticket sales) will go directly to support the work of CARE. Join the movement!

A POWERFUL NOISE Live is more than a night out at the movies; it’s a movement coming of age. When the lights go on, you’ll be energized with a better understanding of what you can do to fight global poverty and empower women and girls. We look forward to seeing you, your family and friends on March 5. Sincerely, Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH President and CEO, CARE P.S. When you get 10 or more of your friends to buy tickets to A POWERFUL NOISE Live, we'll give you one event ticket to a participating theatre of your choice for free! Please don't delay. Free tickets are limited. Find out the details and earn your free event ticket today!

opportunity for local community engagement

Hey folks,

Here is a great way for you to get involved in local community engagement!

King County Community Forums Seeking Participants!Feb 21st to March 22nd!www.CommunityForums.org

In King County, Countywide Community Forums are a network of small group meetings where people throughout the county can discuss current issues and provide feedback to King County officials.Two to four times a year, registered Citizen Councilors meet in homes, libraries and other locations to learn more about an issue that matters to them, discuss it with the group and complete a detailed survey on their views.The next round of forums will be held in February on the topic:“Citizen Priorities for County Government: Budget and Strategic Options.”Where and when are the forums?Forums are organized by fellow Citizen Councilors at homes, workplace or libraries 2-4 times a year during a one-month participation window set by the Auditor.

When notified of an upcoming round of forums, you will be able to select the time and place that works best for you on the Countywide Community Forums' website:www.CommunityForums.org

If you prefer, the Volunteer Coordinators will help you choose the most convenient forum over the phone; just call (206) 296-1633 for assistance.Do you want to get more involved?If you would like to be more involved in Countywide Community Forums, you can volunteer to be a Community Forums Host/Convener. Conveners find a convenient meeting place and conduct a forum session.

You can host your own meeting or become a guest at someone else’s meeting. “Please register as an official, volunteer, Citizen Councilor, or contact us to let us know that you are interested.There are also opportunities to get involved as an outreach volunteer. Outreach volunteers help spread the word about the community forums to their community or organization. In particular, we are looking for outreach volunteers in South King County.Contact us by email, CommunityForums@KingCounty.gov or by calling (206) 296-1633.What to expect at a forum?At each forum meeting, 4-12 participants:* Watch a short video and/or review a brief written summary of the key facts and different perspectives on the issue under discussion.* Take two minutes each to state their views on the topic, uninterrupted by other members of the group.* Participate in an open group discussion.* Complete an “Opinionnaire®”: a confidential survey tool that asks specific questions about the current topic and the forums process.

Please go to www.CommunityForums.org to register!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seattle to Guatemala... some thoughts on my trip, immigrants to the U:S and the recession

I know, I know, where have I been.... actually I have been in Guatemala for a bit at a conference looking at the impacts of immigration on Central America and the indigenous people: Very fascinating. I promise next Monday I will start back with all the great announcements about seattle but I thought I would offer you an opportunity to read an excerpt of some of my experiences here and to think about for a minute what international civic engagement might look like for you, especially in a time of recession. Here are some of my thoughts, thanks in advance for reading.

It has been an amazing experience and also a very humbling experience to be here, lots of tragedy and a real hard life in Guatemala. I have really learned alot about the tremendous struggle of the indigenous people here and other places in Central America, these were not things I wasn´t aware of but it so blatant in Guatemala the challenges, struggles and the impact of La Guerra, the war that was fought here and only ended less than 15 years ago with the signing of the Peace Accords in 1996. And now with the transnational companies mining and taking resources of rural Guatemala it just seems like their is so much struggle and corruption. But there is also alot of hope, opportunities for change and growth and the spirit of la gente is amazing.

I have been staying with a wonderful woman in Xela and I have had the privilege of just being here and learning and asking alot of questions. What a privilege. It is really interesting too, I have worked with many immigrants, right after they come to the U.S: and then once they are settled in a community but it is really interesting to understand it from living here, why go to the U.S., what happens when a family member goes to the U.S., what ends up being the situation in the country you come from. On a systemic level, its kind of a mess and on a personal level very tragic because there are no resources and not alot of options.

Yesterday, I went to a funeral of a friend of the lady I am staying with. This woman died after much suffering, maybe from Cancer, or maybe from being beat up by her husband most of her adult life. Teresa,my friend told me she suffered alot. You don´t really get to know what finally killed her because going to the doctor is very expensive, medicine and hospitals also. Domestic violence is very common here. This is my opinion, but I think it is because the average male compacino man don´t have power in society so they come home and take it out on the family. Obviously that is terrible but it speaks to a larger challenge of people needing to feel in control and living in a system where they don´t have any. We see the same types of situations occuring with new immigrants in the U.S. where the domestic violence rate is incredibly high.

I have been asking alot of my local friends of friends how much it would cost to buy a tienda (store) space for a business. It is very expensive for here but for us it is only about $250.00 US dollars. But to give you an idea of how expensive that is , it is about $ 1800 quetzales. Yesterday when I went to a funeral, very sad but one of the friends of the woman i am staying with said to me "can you pack me up with you and take me to the US" sort of joking but then she went on to say life is really hard here. She works 12 hours a day for a japanese clothing company sewing in a factory for 5 quetzales an hour, that is 60 a day which is less than 8 dollars per day for working 12 hours. So if that is all you make a day and you have all your expenses and rent and life, you have to believe the U.S. has a better option for you.

Talking to people here, many people risk their lives and everything they have, paying alot of money for a chance to make it to the U:S. Not with any security that they will actually make it to the U:S. Just hope that it has to be better than here. In addition, there is tremendous racism amongst the Central American Countries of indigenous people and so they are always considered less than and met with tremendous violence and oppression if they move to Mexico as many Guatemalans did during La Guerra.

I have spent quite alot of time studying, working with and empowering immigrant communities but it continues to shock me that the U.S. keeps spending money in the wrong places. So much money is spent to keep illegals out and no $ is put in to helps the people build industry, non-corrupt industry in their countries . Or how about changing NAFTA of CAFTA that prevent the small farmer from succeeding anywhere in the world. Or for example, I learned to day that the world bank and the US Reserve have invested millions of dollars in the mining industry that ravishes the Western part of Guatemala, Peru , Haiti and other Latin American Countries. We are talking open`-pit mining- one of the most toxic activities on the planet, where they pour cyanide into the earth to find the minerals, also one that take a tremendous amount of water from rural indigenous communities. We would never allow this in the U.S. yet International companies from the US Canada and Europe take these resources out of the countries like Guatemala and accumulate wealth. These companies only give a little over 1% of the profits to the Guatemalan people, the government officials get paid off and the remaining is profit for the company.

There has to be real ways of changing these systems of corruption and oppression. There has to be something better than existing with such inequity in the world.

One idea I have is teaching kids in the U.S. about microfinancing and business. I had a middle school teacher that taught me about business stuff and that changed my life and how I am able to think now. But by empowering kids in the international community to invest small amounts of money with their parents in helping people in other countries. This is not just a U.S. recession, this is a global recession, this is a global trauma due to greed and not really caring about your neighbor, faking the love thy neighbor as yourself piece. There is a phrase in Guatemala, when the U.S. sneezes Guatemala gets the flu. When the U.S. had the oil crisis last year, think of what that experience was like in Central America, the price of food skyrocketed.

What can we do about this in the U.S: Here is what I gather from being here:

1) Computers are the future, having one , or access to one, your life changes. Give one to me and I will send it to Guatemala. And if you know someone that can refurbish computers, I would love to connect with them.

2) If someone can start up and buy a store in Guatemala for $250 American dollars, how easy is it for some Americans to make an investment, for some easy, others harder. The deal with the microfinancing, I have heard this saying a few times, or something close, is if you can empower a woman in the community both socially and economically, you can change the community. Something way more eloquent than that, but you get the drift.

3) Advocate for your immigrant neighbors, or get involved in your community- be a connector, ask around about resources

4) Take risks even when you don´t want to, you´ll probably help someone and feel better, when you are really uncomfortable, you know you are taking a worthy risk and it is something you care about

5) Don´t get caught up in what does it all mean, just help.

6) Keep learning until you can help. My next skills I will be learning include, 1. How to start a 501C3 2. Learning how to do videotaping and editing so I can make movies of peoples stories

7) Giving your skills to other people is self-validating and gives you purpose, instead of saying no, ask how or why, or what is it going to take

So obviously I have some projects I am thinking about and I clearly am tangent prone but these are my current thoughts on the subject :) Hope you are still alive and reading and I haven´t bored you to death. I know the world is a crazy place but I do think there are opportunities to make it better. Hopefully you like my list, alright I am done for today! Have a great one.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Back in Action

Ok, we're back in action, lots of changes, a new year,Happy Martin Luther King Day, a new president, getting over the flu... all that jazz we know as January... done. So we're in February and there are lots of big things happening, here are a few:

Today, is first Thursday at all the big Art venues, so a free night of fun for all. In particular, check out:

Celebrate African culture at SAM’s First Thursday program when museum admission is free for all. Listen to West African drumming and learn about the museum’s amazing African collection with a personal tour with artists Marita Dingus. The evening’s programs are co-sponsored by SAM’s African Arts Council. Art for All at Seattle Art Museum Downtown Anokye February 5, 2009 5:30–7:30 pm Brotman Forum Celebrate African heritage with a performance by West African drummer Yaw Amponsah and group Anokye. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/calendar/eventDetail.asp?eventID=16079&month=1&day=5&year=2009&sxID=&WHEN=&sxTitle= My Favorite Things: Highly Opinionated Public Tours Marita Dingus Co-sponsored by City Light Black Employees Association February 5, 2009 5:30 pm Fourth Floor Galleries My Favorite Things tours bring some of the most opinionated and fascinating artists, cultural producers and community figures into the galleries to discuss their favorite works of art. Celebrate African heritage with a tour of the African art galleries led by artist Marita Dingus. Dingus is a Seattle native whose extensive travels have informed her mixed media sculpture made from discarded materials. She has been awarded such prestigious prizes as the John S. Guggenheim Fellowship (1999) and the Morrie and Joan Alhadeff PONCHO Artist of the Year Award (2005). Tour meets in the Fourth Floor African art galleries. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/calendar/eventDetail.asp?eventID=16215&month=1&day=5&year=2009&sxID=&WHEN=&sxTitle=
The Wing Luke Museum really has some fabulous exhibits worth checking out. I love going there, I always learn alot and it is a great space. This topic in particular is really fascinating as we all see immigration shaping our communities every day and the policy impacts are rarely explored. Check it out:

"Deporting Cambodians: How Immigration Policy Shapes Our Communities": A New Dialogue Initiative Exhibit at the Wing Luke Asian Museum Go to http://wingluke.org/deportingcambodianswlamexhibit.JPG VISIT US SOON Wing Luke Asian Museum 719 South King Street In Seattle's Chinatown/International District (206) 623.5124 http://www.wingluke.org__________________________________________________%20LADIES%20FIRST%202009%20KICK%20OFF%20SATURDAY,%20FEBRUARY%207,%202009%20@%20hidmo%20(20th%20&%20jackson)%207:30pm%20doors%20/%208pm%20open%20mic%20/%209pm%20features%20*%20Food%20available%20to%20order%20FEATURING%20DJ%20B-GIRL%20on%20the%201s%20and%202s%20HOSTED%20BY%201ST%20QUARTER%20STORM%20(last%20performance%20as%20duo%20in%20Seattle%20until%202010)%20and%20FEATURING%20the%20ALL%20STARS%20of%202008%20like%20Akua,%20JusMoni,%20eLa,%20THEESatisfaction,%20Cristina%20Orbe,%20Stephany%20Hazelrigg,%20Julie%20C,%20BeLoved%2001,%20Verbal%20Oasis,%20Onion,%20and%20more%20and%20the%20usual%20suspects,%20you%20know%20who%20you%20are!!!!%20YOU%20DON cara-seattle.org myspace.com/seattleladiesfirst SAVE THE DATE:

One of my favorite places to go is Hidmo in the Central District, they do a ton of youth outreach and civic engagement through hip-hop. This is a great event being held for International Women's Day, check it out:
Ladies First celebrates International Women's Day with Toni Hill of Sirens Echo, Canary Sing & THEESatisfaction by celebrating the bonds of women. MARCH 7, 2009. same time. same place. LADIES FIRST (a project of CARA) myspace.com/seattleladiesfirst Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA) cara-seattle.org HIDMO FAMILY hidmo.org