Join the Kitsap Interfaith Network on Sunday Feb. 28th at 4:00 pm …
Join the Kitsap Interfaith Network on Sunday Feb. 28th at 4:00 pm …
December 4th was a milestone in the history of human rights in Kitsap County – It was the 25th Annual Kitsap Human Rights Conference with the theme: “Where we were…Where we are going…”
The conference is planned each year by the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights, and for the last few years has been at the Kitsap County Conference Center on the Bremerton Harborside.
This year’s conference included Keynote speakers Leonard Forsman (Suquamish Tribal Council Chair) and Cheryl Nunez (Olympic College’s first vice president for diversity and equity).
The varied and insightful breakout sessions included topics on racism, youth violence and suicide, addressing local sexual exploitation, and making communities safe for transgender and gender nonconforming people.
Save the date – on June 23 and 23th, 2016 Olympic College will
hold their 3rd annual diversity conference “Inspire
Women’s Equality Day is August 26th
Women’s Equality Day was designated as August 26th via a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1971. August 26th was chosen to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, in 1920
According to the National Women’s History Project, “The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.”
This year’s Presidential Proclamation sums up the importance of
the day well:
“On August 26, 1920, after years of agitating to break down the barriers that stood between them and the ballot box, American women won the right to vote. On the front lines of pickets and protests, champions from every corner of our country banded together to expand this fundamental freedom to women and forge a path toward fairer representation and greater opportunity. As we celebrate 95 years since the certification of the 19th Amendment, let us demonstrate our commitment to the belief that we are all entitled to equal treatment by supporting policies that help women succeed and thrive.”
Click here to read the entire proclamation.
Find a way to commemorate the day – It is important for all of us to remember what women before us sacrificed, and to keep moving forwards towards full equality for women.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is commemorated on November 20th each year as a day to remember the transgender folks who have been killed as a result of transphobia and hate. There are way too many of them, and many of the murders remain unsolved.
Olympic College Diversity Conference – Great Job!
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
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 in 1970.”
From the Olympic College Diversity Conference Program: “Often it
is well intended, “nice” people who tend to perpetuate
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)
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!
The theme is “Are Your Roots Showing: Exploring Diversity in the Puget Sound Region”
From the Olympic College Diversity Advisory Council Web Site, the day and a half of conference “will offer participants the opportunity to enhance their understanding and skills in the areas of diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism and social justice.”
The conference schedule includes two speakers, Dr. Joy DeGruy and Yoshiko Harden.
Here is a little bit about them:
From Dr. Joy DeGruy’s website:
Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter. With over twenty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, she gives practical insight into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society.
Dr. Joy DeGruy is the keynote speaker during the conference opening morning.
From the Bellevue College website:
Harden, with over a decade of experience as a student affairs practitioner, comes to us from Highline Community College, in Des Moines, where she has held several positions, including director of multicultural services and student development.
“One of my primary goals is to increase access and success for all students, but particularly for historically marginalized groups,” she says.
Yoshiko Harden is speaking during dinner on the first day of the conference.
Five Ways I am Inspired by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1) He spoke out about what is right
2) He promoted using peaceful means, while not backing down
3) His had superb oratory skills – people listened to him
4) His succeeded academically at a place and time when racism was an omnipresent barrier
5) He had a dream
Five Inspiring Quotes from Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
1) “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
2) “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
3) “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
4) “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
5) “the time is always right to do the right thing”
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.
Recently someone I was talking with told me he thought we should not have a holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but rather a day to celebrate civil rights. He went on to say he thought Dr. King was a “glory hound.” That statement took me aback, because I have mostly heard people voice respect for the work Dr. King did for the civil rights movement.
After mulling it over for a few days, I have decided that the person I was talking to must not ever have been involved in grass roots organizing. Movements need spokespersons; they need to be given a face. Dr. King was the face of the civil rights movement. That may mean those folks in the spotlight, like Dr. King, get the attention and much of the credit for work really being done by many, but those spokespersons are an essential part of making steps forward for justice. In Dr. King’s case, he was an inspiring spokesperson and a galvanizing force for the civil rights movement, and he is still an inspiration for those of us working towards social justice. As he became famous, he was able to leverage that fame to help many communities desegregate, as well as help reduce discrimination for workers and in housing.
I have mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating: In his Letter from Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963), Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” That still rings true for me.
I have been involved in grass roots organizing and I understand that the organizations that I work with have executive directors and board chairpersons, and that those folks are often the ones talking to the media while many of us work more quietly in the background. We are not in it for the glory. We are not working on the issues we care about for the credit. We are trying to do our part to make positive changes in our communities, and in the greater world. There is a place for us that are quiet to do good work, as well as a place for the spokespeople.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy lives on with the work still being done for justice.
*** Some other quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ***
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things
~ Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
“The time is always right to do the right thing”