🏙️ 15 ways to build belonging in 2021
Plus: Miss our virtual event? Here’s where to find a recap.
Hello, it’s Monday. And today we’re bringing you a special bonus newsletter thanks to our ongoing partnership with Civic Commons at Seattle Foundation.
Over the past several weeks, we’ve teamed up with Civic Commons to reflect back on the 2020 presidential election and talk about how our community can move forward from four years marked by division and hate. We’ve reported on what the change in administration might mean for local refugees and immigrants, and hosted a virtual event diving deeper into these themes.
Today we’re looking forward to a new year full of new possibilities, but also acknowledging that real and lasting change requires all of us to dig deep and do the work. What follows is a list of ideas on how you — yes, you! — can get involved, based on conversations from throughout this project.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
15 ways to roll up your sleeves
🗣️ Speak up. As Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica, put it during our virtual event: “We’ve got to call things out for what they are. If something’s racist, we have to be comfortable calling it racist... If more of that happens, the more we take power away from the folks who are comfortable with the way things are.”
🙌 Be an ally. Sahar Fathi, policy director for Attorney General Bob Ferguson and another panelist from our event, said the most helpful actions to her as a woman of color are when coworkers or other peers stand up for her during a meeting or lift up her points. “If you want to do something little throughout the day or you just want to make a small change, being an ally in that way makes a huge difference,” she said.
👥 Representation matters. Follow the Washington Census Alliance on Facebook and Twitter as it pivots to the next chapter of making sure everyone is counted and represented in our state and local governments.
👀 Keep an eye on the 2021 Legislative session. State lawmakers will convene for a 105-day session starting on Jan. 11. It’s likely that most, if not all, committee meetings will take place virtually — meaning you won’t have to travel to Olympia to participate. Visit the Legislature’s website for a schedule of upcoming meetings.
✅ And speaking of the Legislature, OneAmerica Votes plans to push state lawmakers to create unemployment benefits for undocumented workers, among other priorities focused on immigrant rights. Here’s where to pledge your support for their agenda.
⚖️ Have legal training? Consider volunteering with the Unemployment Law Project. Thanks to Katheryn H. for the suggestion!
💵 Sign up to “pay rent” to Real Rent Duwamish. The money goes to Duwamish Tribal Services, a tribal organization that provides social, educational, health, and cultural services to the Duwamish people.
🎓 Help low-income young people build a path to higher education by volunteering with or donating to Northwest Higher Education Access (NWEA). Thanks for the idea, Nick Q.!
🙋 Encourage your neighbors to run for office — or throw your own hat in the ring. Organizations like Puget Sound Sage offer training and support for candidates, prioritizing those from BIPOC communities.
🌅 Help previously incarcerated folks transition back into the community by making a donation to Civil Survival.
🍽️ Volunteer at or donate supplies to the Southeast Seattle Senior Center, which is delivering hundreds of meals each day to local seniors during the pandemic. Thanks, Kate H.!
👠 Support folks in the QTBIPOC community by making a donation to the Royal House of Noir, which offers virtual workshops about finding and building mutual aid. (And while you’re at it, take a few minutes to read up on the history of Kiki ballroom culture.) Thanks for the tip, Ace H.!
🗳️ The 2021 mayoral election will be here before we know it. Get ready by reading up on democracy vouchers and thinking about how you want to use yours.
🎧 Subscribe to Civic Commons’ We Belong Here podcast, and check out past episodes for more ways to get involved and build belonging here in Seattle.
That’s all for today
Thank you to Civic Commons for making this special Monday newsletter possible. We’ll see you back here tomorrow with the usual roundup of news and events.
— The Evergrey