We couldn’t wait until September 15th. In fact, there have been welcoming events happening all this year! Here are some coming up that you don’t want to miss. Please don’t let this sit in your inbox! Forward, invite your friends, and be sure to make a note in your calendar for the events you’re attending. See you there!

Interfaith/Intercultural Friendship Picnic

Saturday, Aug. 19, 12-4pm – TOMORROW!
Hosts: Network for Unity, East Shore Unitarian Church, Islamic Center of Eastside, Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church
Location: Crossroads Park, Spray Park Shelter B: 999 165th Ave NE Bellevue WA

Enjoy an afternoon filled with food, fun and games! We are inviting all nearby residents to come and share food with us. We are proactively seeking diversity. So if you feel you won’t fit in, we definitely want you there. All we ask is that you come with a dish and an open heart.

Crossing Kirkland

Saturday, Sept. 9, 12-3pm
Host: Crossing Kirkland
Location: various stations along the Kirkland Corridor; see map

City-wide block party near and on the Kirkland Corridor will feature family friendly events, fun activities, food trucks, and more. Walk, bike, and meet your neighbors!

Welcoming America Resource Fair

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 12-4pm
Host: Hopelink
Location: Bellevue Center, 14812 Main St. Bellevue, WA 98007

This fair will connect these new arrivals to the vast array of services available to them in the King County area by inviting local non-profits to share resources for job placement, health insurance, transportation opportunities, ESL classes, and more! The event will also coincide with our regular food bank hours. Through this event, we want to celebrate the values that ensure that our community remains inclusive and welcoming to both newcomers and existing residents. Metro bus #245 and the B-Line both stop near the Hopelink Bellevue Center.

Eastside Timebank Welcoming Potluck

Thursday, Sept. 14, 6:30-8:30pm
Host: Eastside Timebank
Location: Redmond City Hall, Bytes Cafe (1st floor)

Learn about the Eastside Timebank where neighbors help neighbors, earning an hour of credit for each hour of service they provide. Offer your skills and talents when you can and receive help when you need it. Everyone wins! Bring a dish to share for the potluck from 6:30-7:30. New member orientation from 7:30-8:30.

(A message from Debbie Lacy)

Hello, Friends. To say this past week’s events have been disturbing would be an understatement. The truth is that Charlottesville and what’s transpired since then is “just” one more huge thing on a long list of affronts to all we stand for. We’ve been saying since November that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re still early on in the marathon, folks. I know you’ve been working so hard and caring so much that you’re probably as bone tired as I am.

I don’t have all the answers, but I have some ideas about how to stay in this marathon without completely losing our minds, and I’d love to hear your ideas as well.

SHOW UP

First, you know that we’re strongly invested in the Welcoming America movement. We believe in it and we’re seeing a lot of hopeful work being done locally toward institutionalizing welcoming. Some communities are moving forward more quickly than others, but East King County governments, nonprofit organizations, schools, faith communities, and more are all embracing the core values of inclusion, equity, welcoming, and safety for all. Welcoming Week is next month. Events are being lovingly and thoughtfully organized by some amazing people and groups. If you need inspiration, or just a place where you can be reminded that you’re not alone, please go to the list of events and put at least one on your calendar today. Then, think of two people to invite – friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Reach out to them today as well. People need this. We all do.

When you attend a community event, it’s not insignificant. You’re showing up for others and for yourself. It’s an act of community building that closes gaps between us. When you show up and engage, you’re part of weaving a fabric that can become a safety net for all of us.

UNPLUG

Second, it’s ok to say you’re tired. It’s ok to shut off the news and the social media. If you’re a part of one of the many groups and identities being targeted by hateful rhetoric and actions right now, you don’t have the luxury of turning it all off emotionally or mentally, but you can stop reading the comments online. You know the ones I’m talking about. You can make choices about where you spend your time and energy and give yourself some breathing room.

We all have our limits to how much we can take in. When we take a break, it doesn’t mean we’re turning a blind eye. It means we need a moment to focus on something life-giving, to find some love and beauty, and to fill ourselves up with that.

CONNECT

And lastly, be with people who get it. Reach out to them to vent or just hang out. It’s really nice to be with people who you don’t have to explain things to or debate. You can start the conversation at a level where words aren’t even necessary. I recently had a phone call with a friend where I said, “Hi.” And she said, “Hey! I know. Wow.” And that was pretty much the whole conversation. It helped. Don’t get so busy and overwhelmed that you forget to reach out. Your friends need it and so do you.

Another important resource to mention is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s updated publication: 10 Ways to Fight Hate.

Are you on Facebook? Follow our page for announcements about Welcoming Week events and other local efforts.

T-shirts, buttons, and *banners are available for Welcoming Week! These are offered by Welcoming America, and proceeds go to them in support of all they do to provide training, information, and guidance to local communities like us. So, head over to the store to support Welcoming America and get your Welcoming gear in time for the big event September 15-24! To place an order, you’ll need to register for an account (no charge). The women’s sizes run small, so we recommend ordering a size larger than normal.

Check out events in East King County listed so far. More coming soon! We’ll send you the final calendar later this summer.

*We have a Welcoming Week banner you can borrow if you’re hosting an event: contact Debbie Lacy.

A summer picnic for all! August 19th, 12-4pm at Bellevue’s Crossroads Park (Spray Park Shelter B). Bring a dish and open heart to share!

Co-hosted by our friends at East Shore Unitarian Church, Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church, the Muslim Community and Neighborhood Association, and the Network for Unity.

Please consider printing out a flyer or two and sharing. Thank you!

The Bellevue School District is hiring for a new position: Supervisor  of Equity & Student Achievement Initiatives.  This role will lead the development of organizational capacity to support the District’s Instructional Initiatives through the lens of equity.  They’re looking for candidates who are bilingual, bicultural and have at least five years’ experience supervising and leading programs, projects and people within the K-20 system – specifically to achieve equitable outcomes for youth.

If you are able to connect this job opportunity with anyone whom may be a fit, it would be much appreciated! See details in the job description and please forward.

Hello, Friends – hoping you can help. There’s an event coming up on Sept. 9th (Crossing Kirkland). It’s going to be a fun community event, and we want to make it as accessible as possible. ERIC will have a booth there and we’ll be promoting Welcoming Week.

There’s a small amount of text on the event flyer that we’d like to have translated into the top languages spoken (per LWSD data): Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Hindi and Telugu. If you can help, please contact Debbie Lacy.