Our apologies for being so quiet over here. We’ve been working on some exciting plans for the blog and are looking forward to sharing with you soon!
We wanted to take a moment and share with you what we’ve been up to this summer.
We enjoyed celebrating Pride Month and participating in various events organized by the Kitsap Pride Network. Women’s March Kitsap members attended the Pride Picnic and Rally at Pilgrim Firs Conference Center. They volunteered at Pride 2017 and showed up to other events like Drag Queen Musical Bingo benefiting the Q Center. And our friends on the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights hosted a forum on issues faced by the LGBTQ community in Kitsap County.
Not only did we get to have fun at many of these events, but we also got to connect with members of our community and hear about their experiences and the work they are engaged in. At the Picnic and Rally in particular, we heard about how all of us have the power to affect change in our communities:
"Allies institute social change within their own circles." - Maureen Mangrich
"It's all about me. It starts here... That's how we begin to change the world." - Leah Kyaio
If you are looking for ways to institute change and continue showing your support for the LGBTQIA+ community, we encourage you to follow and get involved with organizations such as Kitsap PFLAG, WA SAFE Alliance - Kitsap County, and the Q Center.
Solidarity at the NWDC
Most recently, Women’s March Kitsap showed support for immigrants and their families at the Northwest Detention Center. The NWDC in Tacoma is the largest detention center on the West coast and the site of recent hunger strikes. We visited just one day after the NWDC had been in full lockdown due to the reported assault of a detainee.
When we arrived Saturday, we were glad to see that the lockdown had lifted and families were again being permitted to visit family members being detained. We traveled to Tacoma with dozens of books and stuffed animals that we passed on to Immanuel Presbyterian Church, who was on site handing out these items to children. We then set up near the entrance to the NWDC with signs of support and water and snacks that we handed out to visitors.
Action 7 from the Women’s March organizers was called “We Belong Together.” They stated, “We believe that families and children should live free from fear of discriminatory policies that threaten to divide us, and tear parents away from their children.” And we couldn’t agree more.
On Saturday, we saw children coming in and out of the detention center for whom talking to a parent through a telephone and plexiglass had become a new normal. We saw children who were visiting to say goodbye to a parent just days before their scheduled deportation.
And so we were both happy and sad to show up and say, “We support you.”
If you’d like to show up and offer your support, more Solidarity Days have been scheduled by the NWDC Resistance/Resistencia al NWDC. You can find details on their facebook page or website.
If you’d like to donate toward legal support for those detained, we encourage you to give to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, whose staff provides direct legal representation to individuals at the NWDC.
And if you’d like to learn more about how discriminatory policies affect children and their families, you can check out the list of resources offered by the Women’s March.
In addition to these events, Women’s March members have been:
Organizing and attending campaigns as part of MoveOn’s Resistance Summer program
Participating in marches and rallies advocating for issues like healthcare for all and justice for Philando Castille
Attending candidate forums for local offices
Participating in fundraisers to benefit local and national organizations
Volunteering to assist in registration drives with the League of Women Voters
Working with other Kitsap resistance groups to form the Kitsap Progressive Action Network (more on this later!)
Calling, faxing, emailing, and voting!
It’s been a busy summer. There has been much to be outraged and anxious over, but there has also been much to celebrate. And we are constantly celebrating you, our community members, and the willingness of individuals to step up, make their voices heard, and take action to bring about positive change.
Town Hall and Huddle Tomorrow!
Don’t forget, you can join us Wednesday evening at Rep. Derek Kilmer’s Town Hall. We will then meet briefly afterward for our August huddle. We ask that you consider bringing a donation of school supplies which will be passed on to the Kitsap Foster Care Association and used to fill back-to-school backpacks for local foster youth. We hope to see you there!
P.S. What are you celebrating this summer? What other ways have you been speaking up and taking action? We’d love to hear!