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2013 Kitsap County Human Rights Conference “The Ally is You!”

This year’s Kitsap County Human Rights Conference is Friday December 6th.  This event is put on by the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights, and is held each year on a Friday close to International Human Rights Day.  This year is the 23rd .

This year’s theme is “The Ally Is YOU – Inspire – Empower – Unite” and the conference includes a day of speakers and workshops, as well as time to network – “bringing people together to educate and strengthen the LGBTQI community and Allies.”

There are two outstanding keynote speakers scheduled – Suzanne Engelberg, PhD , who will describe three powerful but simple steps straight allies can take to make an important difference in the lives of GLBTQI people, and Anthony Gipe, president elect of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA). Gipe will be WSBA’s first openly gay president

According to their web site, the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights was formed in 1989 and has a two part mission:

The mission of the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights is twofold:
1.  Advise county government and Kitsap County residents on issues related to discrimination, violence and harassment based on race or national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or economic status;

2.  Promote the equitable treatment of all citizens and reduce prejudice through the development of prevention policies, education, resource, referrals, and advocacy.

 

Kitsap County Human Rights Conference

December 6, 2013 8 a.m.-3:15 p.m.,

Kitsap Conference Center, Bremerton

The Ally is YOU! Inspire, Empower, Unite

More information is available at:
http://www.kitsapgov.com/hs/humanrights/documents/2013%20HRC%20press%20release.pdf

and

http://www.kitsapgov.com/hs/humanrights/hrcboard.htm

 

~ 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

Kitsap Pride is Sunday July 21st – Let’s Celebrate!

You may have heard about some of the larger lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride events, like Seattle, and these are a lot of fun.  However, for the past 17 years Kitsap County has had its own unique event – Kitsap Pride is a Pride event that celebrates community with Kitsap County style.  The event started as a potluck picnic, and has grown into a festival attended by hundreds of community members.

This year’s event on Sunday July 21st is a chance to celebrate some big advances towards equality, such as Washington State voting in state recognition of same-sex marriage, and at the federal level the Supreme Court’s historic striking down of a significant part of the Defense of Marriage Act.  Since so many folks in Kitsap County are federal employees, these two events add up to many local married gay and lesbian couples having the same employee benefits as their heterosexual married coworkers.  I hope to see many happy couples celebrating at Evergreen Park on Sunday!

Even without the historic milestones, Kitsap Pride is a meaningful and affirming community event – a place to listen to local musicians, enjoy food, visit vendors, and best of all to be with friends.

For more information about Kitsap Pride go to www.kitsappride.org

or on Facebook at : https://www.facebook.com/kitsappride

 

~ Marcie

What the Supreme Court’s Historic Ruling Means to Kitsap County Couples

What does the Supreme Court’s historic ruling striking down Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) mean to married couples in Kitsap County?  It was a huge step forward towards equality for same-sex couples and their families, with far reaching effects – from income taxes to immigration.

There are over a thousand federal benefits now available to married couples in states that recognize their marriages, like here in Washington.  Couples in states that do not recognize their marriage will only have some of the federal benefits, and that part is a little more confusing.

The Lambda Legal website had more information about the decision and what it means.

http://www.lambdalegal.org/publications/after-doma-summary

In addition, many folks in Kitsap County are federal employees, so the US Supreme Court decision to strike down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that prevented federal recognition of married same-sex couples opens up employee benefits previously only available to heterosexual married couples.  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was swift to put into place an open enrollment period for any couples already married.

Here is a link to more information:

http://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/benefits-administration-letters/2013/13-203.pdf

~ Marcie

 

Bike to Work Day 2013

Of the many different types of transportation that folks use to get to work – driving, car pooling, riding the bus – only a couple will also count as your work out for the day: bicycling and walking (or running).  Friday May 17th is Bike to Work Day for 2013.  A day for bicycle commuters to honor and celebrate their healthful mode of transportation.

This year there will be a Bike to Work Day station near the Bremerton Ferry terminal from 6:00 am to 8:00 am.  If you get a chance, stop by for coffee, snacks and information.

~ Marcie

 

 

Having Fun with Pi

Pi Day is March 14th (3.14) so I thought I would have a little fun with it.

Pi

 
Here is a history of Pi from www.piday.org

“By measuring circular objects, it has always turned out that a circle is a little more than 3 times its width around. In the Old Testament of the Bible (1 Kings 7:23), a circular pool is referred to as being 30 cubits around, and 10 cubits across. The mathematician Archimedes used polygons with many sides to approximate circles and determined that Pi was approximately 22/7. The symbol (Greek letter “π”) was first used in 1706 by William Jones. A ‘π’ was chosen for ‘perimeter’ of circles, and the use of π became popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737. In recent years, Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits passed its decimal. Only 39 digits past the decimal are needed to accurately calculate the spherical volume of our entire universe, but because of Pi’s infinite & patternless nature, it’s a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.”

 

An interesting fact about Pi:

If you look at a mirror image of 3.14 it spells pie.

Pi spelled backwards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Pi Day everyone!

Pi -3_14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ marcie

Quilt Inspired by Quote from Dr. Martin Luther King

The Kitsap Quilters quilt guild held their annual quilt show at the Presidents Hall at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds this weekend.  Since it is both diversity and quilt related I want to share with you a quilt I made that was displayed in the show.  Inspired by one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, one that continues to inspire me to speak up for justice.  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Below is a picture of the quilt (18”x18”) and close ups of the embroidered quote.

Quilt inspired by quote from Dr. Martin Luther King
Quilt inspired by quote from Dr. Martin Luther King

 

 

~ Marcie

National Wear Red Day ® is Friday February 1st

Go Red for Women!

Wear Red Day Red Dress

National Wear Red Day ® is a day to raise awareness about heart disease, especially about how heart disease affects women.

Heart disease is something that hits close to home for me, in part because it runs in my family.  Even more scary to me, though, is over the last couple of years two women I know that were around my age have died from heart attacks

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute coronary heart disease is the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States.

According to the American Heart Association:
“The fact is: Heart disease kills one in three women each year – that’s approximately one woman every minute. But it doesn’t affect all women alike, and the warning signs for women aren’t the same in men. What’s more: These facts only begin to scratch the surface.”

For information about the myths around women and heart disease go to:
http://www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/facts_about_heart_disease_in_women-sub-category/myths-about-heart-disease/

There is also a fun challenge for Wear Red Day – America Goes Red Challenge http://wearredday.goredforwomen.org/
“We’re looking for the most spirited supporters to paint the town red! Show us how you Go Red by uploading your photos from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr or your desktop in one of the categories. Let’s turn a red spotlight on America and raise awareness of the issue of heart disease in women.”

~ Marcie