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Search The Fig Tree's stories of people who make a difference:

Speakers at benefits tell how The Fig Tree empowers people

Speakers for The Fig Tree’s 2014 Benefit Breakfast and Benefit Lunch will tell how the newspaper, resource directory and online media empower people through sharing stories of hope, justice and action.

Yaya Senklip, right, will share in a video the story behind the logo.

In 2014, The Fig Tree is celebrating its 30th year of publication.  In 1984, it started with the goal of covering religion news, but has shifted over the years to define its focus as covering stories of people who make a difference because of their faith and values and on connecting people to work together on justice and service.

The breakfast buffet begins at 7:15 a.m. and the program at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 12, in Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University.

The lunch buffet begins at 11:45 a.m. and the program at noon, Friday, March 14, also in Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University.

Breakfast speakers include Dale Soden, history professor at Whitworth University; Bridget Cannon of Volunteers of America’s Crosswalk teen shelter; the Right Rev. Jim Waggoner, Jr., bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane, and Twa-le Abrahamson, director of air quality for the Spokane Tribe and organizer of the SHAWL Society efforts to clean up uranium waste on the reservation.

Lunch speakers are Roberta Wilburn, associate dean of graduate studies in education at Whitworth and president of the Spokane Ministers’ Fellowship; Jim McPherson, Whitworth journalism professor and member of the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media at Gonzaga; Bishop Emeritus William Skylstad of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, and Janice Marich, vice president of community relations for United Way of Spokane County.

A video and slide show will share stories of the past year.  The video includes the story behind the design of the masthead and logo, the choice of the name, the emerging mission and the unique role of The Fig Tree media.

Editor and founder Mary Stamp will also offer insights related to the mission of the newspaper and resource directory over the last 30 years.

The benefit breakfast and benefit lunch gather both people who value The Fig Tree media and people who are interested in learning about them. 

“We celebrate not only our 30-year milestone, but also our ongoing application of just-peace or solutions-oriented journalism.  Today’s focus is on connecting people in the faith, nonprofit, human services and civic communities to be aware of what people are doing and be encouraged by the many efforts,” said Mary. 

Along with raising funds, the benefits are times to articulate our model of journalism,” said Mary, “to tell The Fig Tree story.  Like public broadcasting, The Fig Tree is available free and is supported by sponsors and advertisers.

“While media are not direct service, if people are informed they are inspired and become involved in service and advocacy to care for people and advocate for policies that improve their lives,” she said. 

“For example, we see that when mainstream media focus attention on disasters, projects or issues, people are motivated to give and to help,” Mary said.  “As that media attention wanes, our media continue to tell stories of how faith and nonprofit communities work to restore lives, reach out in creative ways and act to make society more just.

“Those who live their faith and values give us a plethora of stories to share,” said Mary

In 2014, The Fig Tree has made improvements to its website at and is using Facebook and Twitter to help connect people with other resources. 

Table hosts cover the cost of the food for the guests they invite. There are still openings for hosts. 

For information or to RSVP by March 6 for the breakfast and March 10 for the lunch, call 535-1813 or email


Copyright © March 2014 - The Fig Tree