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The 24th Annual Kitsap County Human Rights Conference

This year’s Kitsap County Human Rights Conference is coming up and registration will be underway soon!

Save the date – Friday December 5th, 2014
Kitsap Conference Center, Bremerton, WA

This year’s conference is around the important topic: Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline – Changing the flow for our youth.

2014 HR Conf Save the DateMore information will be on the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights web site:
http://www.kitsapgov.com/boards/humanrights/hrcboard.htm

~ marcie

Missing Robin Williams

Like so many others, I was saddened by the death of Robin Williams. His roles brought such laughter and such depth of thought to all of us, and he will be incredibly missed.

Robin Williams was one my favorite actors. Back in the day, I used to watch Mork and Mindy occasionally, not because I liked the show necessarily, but just to see his humor in action. Over the years he would show up in some unusual roles, even on an episode of Law and Order SVU. I remember seeing him and John Ritter (from Three’s Company) doing a sort of stand-up comedy duet/stand off (I don’t remember the show) and Robin Williams ran comedic circles around John Ritter. He and his talent will be missed.

At first I had planned to say a bit about Robin Williams and his advocacy for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender folks. Then the news came out that he had Parkinson’s Disease and that hit close to home for me too. So I will mention both.

Robin Williams was an ally of LGBT folks. He did more than play several gay, and other diverse, characters. According to the Advocate, “Williams supported local efforts by LGBT community groups and was involved in multiple fundraisers and events. “
Link to article:   http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/people/2014/08/11/robin-williams-found-dead-age-63

Parkinson’s Disease is a heartbreaking diagnosis. I have a movement disorder called Essential Tremor, and while there can be some outlying symptoms, the main thing I have to look forward to is shaking more and more as the years go by. Katherine Hepburn is one of many famous people who had Essential Tremor, and it is much more common than Parkinson’s. Folks with Essential Tremor have an increased risk of having Parkinson’s Disease but the connection is not understood. The prognosis for someone with Parkinson’s Disease is much grimmer, but more and more treatments are available.

I can’t know how much the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease had to do with Robin Williams’ decision to end his life.  I just wish he hadn’t.
RIP Robin Williams.

More about Parkinson’s Disease:
www.parkinson.org

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/basics/definition/CON-20028488

More about Essential Tremor:
http://essentialtremor.org/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/essential-tremor/basics/definition/CON-20034509

 

~ Marcie

 

Microaggressions and More at the Olympic College’s Diversity Conference

 

Olympic College Diversity Conference – Great Job!OCDiversityConfProgam&Bag

 

Olympic College’s first Diversity Conference was very well done, with so much good thought provoking information I am still processing it all.

 

 

 

 

What I enjoyed most about the conference were the two keynote speakers: Dr. Joy DeGruy and Yoshiko Harden.

The first keynote speaker was  Dr. Joy DeGruy

From her website: “Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter.”

The topic of her presentation was Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
From the Olympic College Diversity Conference Program “The theory of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome suggest that centuries of slavery followed by systemic racism and oppression have resulted in mutigenerational adaptive behaviors – some of which have been positive and reflective of resilience, and others that are detrimental and destructive.”

I was enlightened by her presentation and have bought her book on the subject, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing.

  The second keynote was given by Yoshiko Harden, Vice President for Diversity at Bellevue College

Her speech title was “Good Intentions Aren’t Enough; The Damaging Effects of Microaggressions”

Microaggression was a new concept to me, and some of you may not be familiar with it either.

From Wikipedia – “Microaggression is a theory that hypothesizes that specific interactions between those of different races, cultures, genders or sexual orientation can be interpreted as small acts of mostly non-physical aggression; the term was coined by Chester M. Pierce[1] in 1970.”

Yoshiko Harden OC Diversity Conf

From the Olympic College Diversity Conference Program: “Often it is well intended, “nice” people who tend to perpetuate microagressions”
According to the speech description “Participants will learn to identify both individual and institutional forms of microagressions, and learn practical and useful strategies to address, interrupt,a nd dismantle them.” Yoshiko Harden’s Keynote speech did all of that for me.

 

 

 

The topic of microaggressions found its way into a couple of the sessions, and I attended two of those.

One of the things I like about the idea of microagressions is it helps make sense of something I have seen and felt, but couldn’t find a way to describe. One thing that comes to mind for me is how I feel when someone says to me “Wow, you are an engineer?!  Good for you!”  (Usually interpreted as ‘you are smart for a woman’) I also like that the concept helps break down our overwhelming anti-inclusion systems into bits we can makes sense of, and find ways to each make a real difference.

There were two videos presented at the conference that showed, in a humorous way, some examples of microagression.

What Kind of Asian Are You? (this video was posted just over a hear ago and has over 7 millions hits)

Top 100 – Things White People Say to Black People

 

 

OCDiversityConfSessionTracks

There were so many good sessions, and I was impressed by the presenters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look forward to attending the Olympic College Diversity Conference next year!

 

~ Marcie

Kudos to Youth!

 

YouthRally2014Cover

On Friday March 21st I attended the 20th annual Kitsap Youth Rally for Human Rights at Olympic College in Bremerton.  I was once again amazed and encouraged by what our youth are able to accomplish.

The Rally is supported by Kitsap Safe Schools, the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights and the Olympic College Multicultural Services Center, and is primarily planned and achieved by youth.

 

 

 

 

Some of the 12 workshops the youth prepared and presented were:

Alternative Voices of Humanity’s Universal Soul
Volunteering in the Community
Shattered Spirits: A Native Perspective

 There were also break out sessions dealing with difficult topics like rape and identity, and a production by the North Kitsap High Theater Arts and GSA of PUSH: A Social Awareness Play.

 

Kudos to the hosting Bremerton School District and all the youth that participated!

 

YouthRallySponsors

 

 

 

 

 

YouthRallySpecialThx

 

 

 

 

 

 

~   Marcie

Seattle Women’s Chorus – We Can Swing It

In a concert at the Admiral Theatre the Seattle Women’s Chorus will celebrate the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter in a whole new way:

Through the power of an original composition by Associate Artistic Director, Eric Lane Barnes. Highlighted by pieces entitled “It Ain’t Women’s Work,” “Femininity Quotient,” and “The Doors You Opened,” this moving narrative gives you a glimpse into the lives of the women who lived and worked in these dark but exciting times. Joining Seattle Women’s Chorus for a portion of the show is local all-female group, the MoodSwings Jazz Band

 

3:00 Sunday February 23rd
Admiral Theatre, Bremerton
Tickets are still available at http://admiraltheatre.org

 

SWC2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The concert is sponsored by the Kitsap Pride Network

http://kitsappride.org/

 

 

~ Marcie

Tuesday September 24th: “Cracking the Codes” – a film about racism in America

On Tuesday September 24th the film “Cracking the Codes” will be shown on Bainbridge Island.
Following the film will be a community discussion.

Event details:

Cracking-CodeEvent details:
Racism — 50 Years After the Dream

Tuesday, September 24th
7:00pm
Eagle Harbor Congregational Church
Community Room
105 Winslow Way W.
Bainbridge Island
$5 suggested donation

Here is some more information from the Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church:

A new documentary film about racism in America is being co-sponsored by Cedars Adult Programs.

The 70-minute film is titled Cracking the Codes – The System of Racial Inequity.  The film includes moving personal testimony from 23 leaders who illuminate the issues around racial disparities, and how important it is to deepen the dialogue around race in America.

Following the showing there will be an open discussion facilitated by three members of the community (Peggi Erickson, Sharon Negri, and Charlotte Rovelstad).

Join us at 7pm on Tuesday evening, September 24th at the Eagle Harbor Congregational Church (the building with the white steeple in the heart of Winslow). There is a $5 suggested donation to cover the cost of the room and handouts.  For additional information call 206-780-9718.

 

Yes! Magazine says “”Cracking the Codes is the most dignified and evidenced response possible to the blithe assertion that we now live in a “post-racial” America.”

Co-sponsors include: Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church, Yes! Magazine, Bethany Lutheran Church, and Suquamish United Church of Christ.

Link to information about the event:
http://www.cedarsuuchurch.org/2013/09/08/racism-50-years-after-the-dream

 

~ Marcie

 

Banned Books Week Starts Today – What Will You Be Reading?

“Celebrating the Freedom to Read: Sept. 22 – 28, 2013”

From the Banned Books Week web site: “Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.”

If you are looking for a book to read in celebration of the freedom to read, here are the 10 most challenged titles of 2012:

1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group

6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence

9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

 

Need more ideas?  The University of Pennsylvania has an online list of banned books

If you work in Seattle, you might want to check out this event:
Banned Books Week Readings
Each weekday during Banned Books Week we will read a banned book in the library, from 12-1pm.
This is a brown bag event.
Antioch University Seattle
2326 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

If you want more than a list of books, Banned Books Week also has videos of folks talking about and reading from banned books, including videos of some celebrities: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/videos%2B

Banned Books Week is also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek

i read banned books

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Marcie

 

Why Can’t Ending Racism be an American Agenda?

Several 50-year anniversaries relating to the Civil Rights movement have been marked recently – some good and some sad.  The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was August 28th.  Just a few days ago, September 15th, was the anniversary of the church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, where 4 young girls were killed.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, I went to see the movie “The Butler.”  The movie reminded me of the human costs of the fight for civil rights during the 60’s and 70’s, as well as the positive changes that were made.  The anniversary of the church bombing is another reminder of the costs.

Much has been published lately on the opinion page about racism and recent events, and one letter to the editor talked about “left-wing extremists” dividing our Country with all this talk about race.

How can we honor the sacrifices made during the civil rights movement, and applaud like the folks in the theater did after the movie I attended, and not be willing to even discuss the racism still present in our society?  The problem goes beyond individual cases and situations – racism is, unfortunately, imbedded in our culture and our institutions.

I know it is daunting to think about what needs to change to make our laws, and how they are applied, truly fair and just.  But that change can start with each one of us if we recognize that transformations need to be made and start with making them happen locally.  The human rights agenda should be something we all embrace.  Why can’t ending racism be an American agenda?

MLK Quilt Quote Only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Marcie