Speakers will reflect on The Fig Tree's 35 years
The Fig Tree celebrates its 35th year of publishing at its 2019 Benefit Lunch on Friday, March 8, and Benefit Breakfast on Wednesday, March 13, in Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University.
Four speakers at each event will address the theme, "35 Years: Informing, Inspiring, Involving," telling how The Fig Tree monthly newspaper shares news of people who are making a difference because of their faith and values, and the annual Resource Directory connects people in the caring community and is used by people in need to improve their lives.
Lunch speakers will be Jason Clark, executive director of Second Harvest; Sima Thorpe, executive director of The Arc of Spokane; Sandy Williams, editor of The Black Lens, and Theresa Hart, founder/executive director of the Newby-ginnings program for veterans.
Breakfast speakers will include Gary Stokes, general manager of KSPS-TV Spokane; the Rev. James Watkins, pastor of New Hope Baptist and a board member; Scott Cooper, director of parish social ministries with Catholic Charities and a partner in planning the annual Eastern Washington Legislative Conference, and Kim Harmson, owner of the Kizuri fair trade shop at the Community Building.
The speakers will share insights on the value of The Fig Tree and Resource Directory in their varied roles in the community.
"Last year, we raised more than $30,000 at these benefits—each attended by nearly 200 people. Our 2019 goal is to raise $50,000 to build our capacity and involve more writers, editors and other staff," said editor and founder Mary Stamp. "With 30 hosts at each event, we expect 480 guests."
Hosts and sponsors cover the cost of the meals, and guests are asked to donate generously to support The Fig Tree.
This year, Nathan Slabaugh Media is preparing the video, featuring Deidre Jacobson, a long-time volunteer and writer; the Rev. Lonnie Mitchell of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and partner with Emmanuel Family Life Center, the site of The Fig Tree office; Sally Duffy, an associate of the Sisters of the Holy Names and a community volunteer; Raymond Reyes, associate academic vice president and chief diversity officer at Gonzaga University; Amber Waldref, former City Council member and director of the Northeast Spokane Zone Project, and David Brookbank, a DSHS social worker at The NATIVE Project.
In 1984, Mary and the late Holy Names Sister Bernadine Casey co-founded The Fig Tree through the Spokane Christian Coalition. In 2001, it became an independent nonprofit. Since 2006, it has also published the Resource Directory.
"Beyond the goal of covering religion, we connect diverse people, share stories to build understanding, and explore how lives and views intersect on faith, justice and ethics," Mary said.
"Stories encourage reflection and dialogue," she added. "We help individuals and groups network, pool ideas and resources, and join in common action."
The directory connects people and builds awareness of how the faith, nonprofit and civic communities serve. In 2016, The Fig Tree published 12,000 copies, and, with the help of community partners, 16,000 copies in 2018.
Recently, the Advent Lutheran Endowment Fund gave The Fig Tree a grant of $420 for its media and education ministries. The fund supports ministries in the Eastern Washington Idaho Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
For information, call 535-1813 or email email@example.com. RSVP early to assure seating.
Dainen Penter is Center for Justice director
The Center For Justice has selected Dainen Penter to lead the organization into its 20th year and champion its mission.
Dainen, who began Jan. 23, brings more than 15 years of experience as a lawyer in private practice and as a community leader.
The 1997 graduate of Whitworth University received his Juris Doctor in 2001 from Lewis and Clark Law School, his LL.M. in Taxation at the University of Washington School of Law, and then represented private clients.
Committed to addressing systemic inequities, Dainen was 2016 president of the Asian Bar Association of Washington and 2011 to 2012 president of the Washington Young Lawyers Division. He was named as a "Rising Star" by Washington Super Lawyers Magazine from 2010 to 2016.
The center seeks to create a more just and equitable community.
For information, call 835-5211.
Whitworth offers Speakers and Artists Lectures
Whitworth plans two Speakers and Artists Lectures this spring.
Linda Schearing, professor of religious studies at Gonzaga University, will speak on "Biblical Women in Pop Culture: An Academic Journey" at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 14, in the Johnston Science Center Auditorium at Whitworth University.
Symbols, themes and characters of biblical stories play a role today in popular culture, said Linda, who will tell how popular culture media read, appropriate and reconstruct biblical women's stories and characters not only to entertain, but also to signal messages about gender.
Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, author of Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light and Jesus Is My All in All: Praying with the "Saint of Calcutta," will speak on "Mother Teresa's Business: Spiritual Values in a Commercial World" at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 2, at Whitworth'sWeyerhaeuser Hall.
He believes her private reflections share her doubt and despair, hope and charity as a contrast to current temptations of selfishness and consumerism.
For information, call 777-3391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor speaks on Chief Garry
David Beine, dean of the College of Global Engagement and professor of intercultural studies at Great Northern University in Spokane, will present a lecture on "The Continuing Case of Spokane Garry" at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 12, on campus at 611 E. Indiana.
Great Northern University is a new private Christian liberal arts university located in the former site of Moody Bible College.
The book is on the dispossession of Garry from land he had occupied and farmed since 1864. In 1917, William Lewis wrote The Case of Spokane Garry, the first biography of Chief Garry, who was influential in settling Spokane.
David will present new findings on the disputed location of this land and offer stories of characters involved in the land dispute.
The lecture is followed by an invitation roundtable session.
For information, call 284-7100 or email at email@example.com.
Social Justice Film Festival at Magic Lantern
For the first time, the Social Justice Film Festival (SJFF) will bring 12 "Best of the Fest" films from 30 shown at its October 2018 festival in Seattle to Spokane, Friday to Sunday, March 1 to 3, at the Magic Lantern, 25 W. Main. The theme is "Hope and Democracy."
Gonzaga, Whitworth and Eastern Washington universities, Gonzaga's Law School and the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane are collaborating with the festival to show films and host post-film discussions on six of the films.
Hannah Martin, program manager of the SJFF, said the organization started 10 years ago with prisoner rights films. It ran two seasons. Seven years ago, Anne Paxton, executive director, revived the festival. Aurora Martin, managing director, said the festival now draws international and national filmmakers.
• At 7 p.m. Friday is "The Providers," a documentary on rural health care access. Faculty from the University of Washington Medical School and the Empire Health Foundation will lead discussion. Showing with it is "Mexico: Looking for Lost Migrants."
• At 4 p.m. Saturday, "Go Penguins!" a documentary on a theatre troupe's of youth with developmental disabilities producing a Broadway-style musical, shows with "Take Good Care of My Baby."
• At 7 p.m. Saturday, the film, waałšiʔaƛin (Coming Home), explores the survival of the Juu-ay-aht First Nations on Vancouver Island. With it is "Reclamation: The Rise at Standing Rock."
• At 3 p.m. Sunday, "The Guardians," which exposes the corrupt system of state-appointed guardians, screens with "Dignity of Risk."
• At 6 p.m. Sunday, "Sincerely, the Black Kids" follows stories of black student leaders from U.S. colleges. Showing with it is "Side by Side," first-person narratives exploring South Korean adoptee experiences. After that film, two Korean adoptees—the director, and Gonzaga faculty member Dainen Penta—will lead a discussion.
Hannah, a 2012 graduate in film at Biola University in Los Angeles, came back to Seattle to work on justice documentaries.
Aurora, a 1997 graduate of the University of Washington Law School was drawn by her interest in producing documentaries.
She also formed the Social Justice Film Institute "to connect communities through film festivals, community education and mentoring filmmakers from underrepresented communities.
For information, call 206-650-0440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PJALS – War kNOw More: Our Militarism Costs U.S. – March 22
The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane is planning an educational event, "War kNOw More: Our Militarism Costs U.S." from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, March 22, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, 4340 W. Ft. Wright Dr.
There will be a panel and discussion with Larry Shook, veteran and journalist; Tom Jeannot, Gonzaga University professor, and the Rev. Todd Eklof, pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church.
They will challenge assumptions about the United States' continual wars asking: "Why are we willing to participate in war? How does war impact our society and psychology? What are the historical and cultural roots of militarism in America? How does war connect with racism? What is the moral cost of war?"
For information, call 838-7870 or visit peacejustice.org.
Spokane Home Builders collaborate on Blitz Build
Viking Homes and Spokane Home Builders Association announced on Jan. 17 that they will sponsor and build a Habitat for Humanity Home as part of the Home Builders Blitz 2019 with professionals working together on an accelerated timeline to build homes for low-income, qualified home buyers. The home will be built in the Hope Meadows community in Deer Park.
For information, call 534-2552 or email email@example.com.
Hospice is recruiting volunteers, offering courses
Hospice of Spokane seeks volunteers to help patients and their families in Spokane Valley, North Spokane and Stevens County. Volunteers provide companionship and conversation, run errands, read, help with letter writing or emails, do light housekeeping, play an instrument or sing. Some volunteers provide visits with Pet Partner certified dogs. Volunteers are required to attend a Volunteer Training Course. One begins March 6 in Spokane and one April 9 in Stevens County. For information, call 456-0438
Conference draws human rights experts
Researchers, academics, human rights experts, community organizers and activists will be among the participants in the 5th International Conference on Hate Studies April 2 to 4 at Gonzaga University's Hemmingson Center.
As it marks its 20th anniversary in 2019, Gonzaga's Institute for Hate Studies (GIHS) is sponsoring the event on "Building Peace through Dialogue, Kindness and Forgiveness" in conjunction with the Kootenai County Task Force for Human Relations, Spokane County Human Rights Task Force and Gonzaga Student Chapter of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
It is an interdisciplinary academic forum on hate, related social problems, and ways to create socially just, inclusive communities, said Kristine Hoover, director of the GIHS.
Lessons will help participants analyze and combat hatred, and build commitment to peace, human rights and justice.
The conference features tracks on research, community building, education and development.
In a pre-conference event, Greater Spokane Progress and Empire Health Foundation are offering a "Why Race Matters" workshop from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 2, at the Hemmingson Center at Gonzaga.
"This year the conference includes an afternoon session Wednesday, April 3, for community dialogue on a range of views on human rights," said Kristine.
On April 4, those interested in researching how to counter hate can participate in "Design Charrettes" for a library resource.
The arts presentations include performances of a play about Ruby Bridges—the first African-American child to integrate a white school in the South—written by a Gonzaga student, a performance and workshop by local artists from Power 2 The Poetry, and a student choral, theatre and dance performance, "A New Season: A Celebration of Artistry, Place and Potential."
The conference seeks to provide participants with skills to:
• Foster conversations on building community in hate studies;
• Share actions to challenge hate and support social change;
• Share knowledge, practices and perspectives from academics, activists and professionals;
• Generate interdisciplinary research projects and new theories, strategies for social justice.
"If we understand hate better, we can improve approaches to combat it," Kristine said. "We can have real-world impact, including creating models for changing society, government and lives."
For information, call 313-3665, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit gonzaga.edu/hatestudies. To register, visit https://bit.ly/2CghlOi.