Diversity Commission promotes storytelling, accepts land acknowledgement
Last updated 6/19/2019 at Noon
The Edmonds Diversity Commission has launched its storytelling project, “I am Edmonds. This Is My Story.”
In addition to active social and traditional media outreach, flyers have been created for distribution to and have been produced in English, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese and Spanish, with Chinese coming soon.
The Facebook page for submissions goes live Friday, June 14. The Diversity Commission hopes to collect stories from a variety of Edmonds residents that tells the stories of our backgrounds and family histories to highlight how our differences make us stronger as a community.
During the last Diversity Commission meeting, former Commissioner and School Board member Diana White spoke during public comment about native land acknowledgement and encouraged the commission to adopt a statement, providing sample language to use: “We are on the traditional homelands to the Coast Salish Tribes. We pay our respects to Elders past and present ”
The City Council is considering a similar statement. The Diversity Commission decided to use the statement submitted by White at the beginning of every commission meeting and formal event, such as World Café, Youth Forum, and Film Series.
The commission has captioning recommendations for televisions in locally owned businesses. The mayor has agreed to send a letter to business owners that will simply remind business owners of the federal law that requires any business to turn on captions if asked by a patron.
The commission is studying the potential for creating a window decal for local businesses. Commissioners met with representatives from Edmonds Downtown Alliance/Ed! to propose a partnership for store window decals encouraging inclusivity and identifying as a welcoming community.
Ed! is interested, and will discuss the proposal at its next meeting.
In other news, commissioners and staff are researching movies for the next Diversity Film Series, to begin in the fall. The season will pursue films within different categories, such as political viewpoints, incarceration themes, accessibility or different-abled persons, religious discrimination, rural divide, homelessness, and veteran issues.
Giovanne Schachere, Diversity Commission coordinator, is leading the effort to identify films, including contacting the Seattle International Film Festival and the Northwest Film Forum, with the intent of showing a mix of documentaries and feature films.
The Arts and Youth commissions have expressed interest in partnering with Diversity Commission. The Youth Commission could partner on Youth Forum in 2020, and the Arts Commission could potentially partner on sponsorship of a movie.
Maria A. Montalvo is a member of the Edmonds Diversity Commission.