Reminder: Edmonds Diversity Commission to host 3rd annual World Café Oct. 13

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The City of Edmonds Diversity Commission on Saturday, Oct. 13 is hosting its annual “World Café”-style event — a community discussion on topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to noon in the Plaza Room above the Edmonds Library at 650 Main St., Edmonds.

The World Café is a trademarked forum for engaging people in “conversations that matter,” according to The World Café Community Foundation. The nonprofit organization developed the World Café vehicle over 20 years ago for social engagement, innovation and positive community change.

According to a Diversity Commission announcement, the basic framework of a World Café is to invite community members to a venue “with a number of communal tables where healthy discussion is triggered by a series of topics shared with participants at each table.” Usually about a half-dozen topics are discussed in succession at each table. All perspectives are encouraged.

“Central to our mission is to reach out and engage community members on current issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion in and around Edmonds,” said Edmonds Diversity Commission Chair Diana White. “The World Café model provides a safe and engaging space for healthy discussion on what can sometimes be uncomfortable topics. In addition to providing an opportunity for community members to have a voice on these issues, the process will help the commission focus its work over the coming year.”

Topics will include the “Me Too” movement; business practices based on religious conviction; age-based discrimination; whether people of diverse backgrounds feel safe and welcome in Edmonds and other scenarios related to discrimination and inclusion.

Space is limited, so those interested in attending are encouraged to email Cindi Cruz at [email protected] by Oct. 10 to reserve a space.

The Plaza Room is ADA accessible. Refreshments will be served.

39 Replies to “Reminder: Edmonds Diversity Commission to host 3rd annual World Café Oct. 13”

  1. Why do we have this “Diversity Committee?” I hope my tax dollars are not being wasted on this. People are most comfortable, and prosper the most, when they are with thier own kind, their own social circles, their own ethnic group, their own class. It might seem interesting to explore the other side of the tracks, but when you gain life experience you realize you didn’t fit in then and you won’t fit in now. Better stick with your own group. It’s not just that you don’t feel right around them, what’s more important is that they don’t feel right around you. And this often leads to all sorts of problems where white people are guilty of every wrong ever perpetrated on earth, which has become gospel in recent years. Anybody who doesn’t know this is ignorant and shouldn’t be let loose to “teach” diversity. You cannot force a fish out-of-water to be happy! It won’t work!

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    1. Wow! These are the sentiments that supported segregation and ethnic cleansing. Elena shows us why we need a diversity commission.

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      1. Hi Bill, I don’t know Elena, but I doubt she wants ethnic cleansing. Accepting older sentiments is part of diversity. What was said is tone deaf, not constructive, but not entirely unsubstantiated. I once noticed at an organization I consulted for, one which emphasized skin color at every turn (think California), that the lunch room was totally self-segregated. The workplace org-charts were diverse, but at lunch everyone chose to sit with their own race. As Elena said, they choose to stick to their own social circles, their own ethnic group, their own class. , and did so outside of work too. That’s known as multi-culturalism (which is in contrast to integration). Natural integration is an important goal and maybe requires policy, but contemporary strategies actually displace natural relationships with fake ones. Our very own Evergreen University is a case study of genuine racial harmony destroyed by said contemporary strategies (Diversity Committees, Restorative Justice, Gender Studies, etc). In the case of our Diversity Committee, I feel as though they may have inadvertently fomented racial anxiety in our community with their jump to conclusions with Halloween Noose and the Harvey’s Trespassers. Their most tangible contribution has been to release statements that preempt EPD investigations. It doesn’t help and it begs the question at hand. In full disclosure, I applied to be on the Diversity Committee but was not accepted.

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        1. Matthew-
          May I offer you some reading to help guide you through the question of “self-segregation”? I’m sure you can go to the library and borrow their copy of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” by Dr. Beverly Tatum. This will offer some insight to your anecdotes.
          Additionally, please refer to the definitions of hate crimes: according to the FBI “a hate crime is a violent or property crime-such as murder, arson, assault or vandalism-that is motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity”. I would say that a noose intended to been seen by a black worker is hateful, and so are the words and actions of person towards children of color.
          Your comment about the Diversity Committee may have “inadvertently fermented (sic) racial anxiety…etc” is again a use of coded language to appear to look innocuous, while triggering indoctrinated bigotry.

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        2. I can’t imagine why they didn’t accept you. I see you were going for the whole “distract from my bias by trying to sound reasonable” dog whistle thing, but then you gave it all away with the phrase “Harvey’s Trespassers”. You blew the dismount, bro! Zero points for Slytherin.

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        3. Matthew of course you’re here defending racist people, again, and saying nooses are no big deal. Elena’s statement is both racist and classist. White people have the majority of financial resources and control the majority of power in every federal, state, and municipal government, as well as corporations, media, publishing, education, and medical facilities. Think about that. White people have the majority of power in the majority of our society. For her to say everyone should stick with their own kind means limiting people of color even more, from what they have been limited from for centuries.

          You think segregating at lunch is cool. Have you wondered why people of color do that? When white people like you think racist threats are no big deal, think anyone would want to sit and chat with you who isn’t white? Calling a comment that calls for segregation and hogging of resources merely “tone deaf”, you think any person of color would trust you?

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        4. Donna, you dont know who or why there was a noose on Haloween. The EPD reveiled that the kid who was late for soccer was a hoax. The Halloween Noose was most likely a hoax too. 🙁 Because of my pointed, and constructive, criticism the Mayor, the Council, and the Diversity Commission sorta waited for the facts before declaring racism in the case of the soccer kid. I take credit. The poor job foreman who was fired bc a mob showed up to the construction site, because the council was threatening to pull permits, bc the Mayor was preemptively calling for FBI intervention, was as innocent as the EPD. The poor man should have been on suicide watch if he werent.

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        5. Heidi, my half-black kiddos seem to trust me. Thanks for the concern. 🙂 I’m making points any anthropologist would make. No, the adult Asians and the Indians didn’t sit at their own tables because if white racism. Thats a silly thesis. Read some Michelle Alexander, some Thomas Sowell. I can’t defend Elena’s choice of words, such as “kind” (ouch, 1950 called), but we’re all pretty rabid to suggest she in favor of ethnic cleansing (ouch×ouch)^2. Y’all are laughably bad at being objective.

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        6. Heidi, Please don’t call Elena a racist. Every one of us have a grand parent who couches the same ideas in the same way. There’s miles of air between what she said, and being a racist. The question at hand is, which can be answered by reading this thread, has the Diversity Commision been effective?

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        7. Matt, “Older sentiments” that support segregation are not something I am willing to tolerate. Need a bit of hand holding while you work on understanding diversity and inclusion, okay. But I have no toleration for Elena’s comment- it is the epitome of racist.

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        8. Dude, if you say “Social Justice Warrior”, I’ll have a full Aggrieved White Man BINGO. Don’t leave me hanging, bro!

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        9. Thank you Laura. Was Malcolm X a racist? He championed voluntary segregation (aka separation). I agree Elena is wrong in advocating what would be called “racial solidarity” for Jewish communities, and maybe “separation” for black communities, and maybe “reservation” for Native communities. For me, I was able to chalk up what offended people here as her just saying something that all of our non-racist grandparents say. Society evolves, so why be mean about it (no referring to you, Laura). The part of her comment that floated to the top for me was the question, is the Diversity Commission effective? The dichotomy isn’t between the Committee being viable and her being a racist. I think neither is true, and the pseudo-diversity agenda enlarge is counter-productive.

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        10. Don, you’re stereotyping me. I don’t mean to oblige you, but “Social Justice Warriors” attempted to prevent Kavanaugh from being nominated to the SCOTUS. 🙂

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        11. Matt, You are correct in that Elana’s comments are something my grandparents might say (well, one side at least) and guess what? They were racist! Sad, but true, nonetheless.

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        12. Laura, [if] you have racist grand-parents as you say (ouch), how do you bring them into the fold, make them stakeholders in Real Change? What happened to Elena ain’t it.

          What I see here is artificial divide, in the same way prisons are purposefully divided along racial lines. The prison guards don’t mind the segregation in the yard and in the chow hall so long as division makes the people easier to control – because who knows what would happen if people cooperated? What I hear from the Diversity Committee is an extension of that divide-and-control strategy. Again, this thread sorta proves that. I can’t think of many older folks I don’t love to be around, even if I think differently.

          Prototypical Racist Tom Hanks on Black Jeopardy:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7VaXlMvAvk

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    2. Elena, Are you part of a local group espousing these ideas or did you come to this conclusion on your own? I believe you have perfectly illustrated the need for a Diversity Commission.

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    3. Welcome to 2018, Elena. I’m sure you’ll find many things have changed since 1912, 1840, or whatever time you came from. Such an adventure! You have so many fun new things to learn! I’m sure all these unfamiliar new things feel overwhelming and may seem like ignorance when you don’t understand them, but give it a chance. Here’s a start: even if our skin shades are similar, you and I are not the same “kind”, and I don’t think I’d feel right around you. Have fun learning about the future!

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  2. Thank you, Elena, for being a case study in why the Diversity Commission exists. Definitely tax dollars well spent.

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  3. “With their own kind”? You mean other human beings? We live in America, the “melting pot”, where many different cultures and ethnicities are represented and celebrated! We are also a city located on Native land, by the way. I am proud of our Diversity Commission and it’s efforts to enlighten our community through multiple events and highlight racial diversity and inclusion, amongst other areas!
    Our world is full of ugliness and division, but I have found deep, meaningful relationships with many people who are different from me, and am grateful for the richness they add to my life! If sticking to “my own group” means surrounding myself with toxic bigots, then absolutely not!!
    Great job Diversity Commission, happy to be part of a city that recognizes our differences while celebrating our similarities!

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  4. Thank you to the Diversity Commission for bringing programs which amplify the voices of everyone. Fostering welcoming communities and an equitable, diverse, and inclusive society creates opportunities for communities to remain relevant, vibrant, and invigorated.
    I welcome such events as the World Cafe, their film series, the grants to various applicants which included storytellers, and the Dia de los Muertes celebration.
    Referencing the comment posted by Elena Pope: Edmonds was “settled” (colonized) by Brackett in 1870 (according to the information by the Historical Society) whilst the Suquamish tribe called their home; therefore, you (we, European Americans) are the outsiders.
    Additionally, comments such as “People are most comfortable…with their own kind” (Elena Pope) are racist dog whistles, and continue the harm of nationalism. Racism does not have to be the slander shouted, it is also the exclusive rhetoric spewed by such comments written above.
    Thank you Diversity Committee for all that you do; you are clearly needed to be present in Edmonds.

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    1. I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, regarding colonization. Will your house and property to the tribe. There should be no reason not to. Who here has done that?

      “Well, you see, Aborigines don’t own the land. They belong to it. It’s like their mother. See those rocks?
      Been standing there for 600 million years. Still be there when you and I are gone. So arguing over who owns them is like two fleas arguing over who owns the dog they live on.” ~ Crocodile Dundee

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  5. People are most comfortable, and but often prosper least, when they are with their own kind, their own social circles, their own ethnic group, their own class – because they shut out new ideas, new ways of dealing with challenges, perspectives and experiences undreamt of.
    It might seem frightening to you to explore the other side of the tracks (actually, in Edmonds, that means putting on a diving suit – unless you believe that “those others” necessarily live in the undesirable part of town), but when you gain life experience you realize that differences are not frightening. Better stick with your own group if you can’t handle diversity or differing views.
    It’s not just that you don’t feel right around them, what’s more important is that they don’t feel right around you – possibly because of the way you treat them. And this often leads to all sorts of problems where people – even white people! – accept responsibility for their actions. Anybody who doesn’t know this is ignorant and shouldn’t be let loose. You cannot force a bigot out in the real world to be happy! It won’t work!

    Or was your posting a parody and we all missed it?

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    1. Nathaniel, she’s partly right again, and wrong. Irish, Asian, Jewish, Gays and Asian-Indians stuck together through adersity and prospered. If they’re successful, maybe we call it “solidarity” and not “sticking to your kind”. POC and Native Americans were forced together programitally with horrible results. Centrally planned reconstruction (help) has hurt POC and natives tremendously more whereas the other groups had no such intervention.

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  6. Matthew, the Diversity Commission did not jump to conclusions on the “Halloween Noose and Harvey’s Tresspassers”, they were FEDERAL HATE CRIMES and hanging a noose where African-American workers were on site is completely inappropriate! In the case of Harvey’s Lounge, two kids doing a photography homework project from the parking lot between two businesses is hardly tresspassing. Employees going outside with a bat and yelling racial slurs at the kids is an actual crime!

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      1. But really, she didn’t. Threatening 2 kids standing in a parking lot and using racial slurs, threatening them with a baseball bat, as seen on camera, is indeed a hate crime. Why are you an apologist for racism?

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        1. The original report was that a man (a bouncer) chased them, unprovoked, with a bat. The bar trespassed them for taking pictures on the property. The six-foot male left, but returned. Supposedly (as supposedly as a man bouncer chasing them) he forgot his wallet and returned to the bar to look for it. Supposedly, he was super nice and kindly asked help looking for his wallet. A woman [not a man] stood in the door [didn’t chase them], held a bat for self defense and yelled something at him. We don’t know what was said. My gut says no party to this was very good at conflict resolution, no party was respectful. I don’t know. She was arrested, but was she charged, convicted? Be good to know a follow-up.

          While we’re at it, was Micheal Brown’s hand’s up? Be Objective. Observe retrospectively how jumping to conclusions causes racial anxiety in a community. It’s good for no one, especially minorities.

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      2. Since I can’t reply above, Matt, I’m sure any person doing anti racism work will tell you proximity to people of color does not shield you from racism. Having people of color in your home does not make you less white, or less racist. They would also tell us as white people, that we have no business discussing colorism and why people of color do/do not mingle with each other, its out of our lane. And, that “I can’t be racist I have black friends/neighbors/spouse/child” is in itself a racist statement. I suggest you do some learning on it, and I, too, am happy to refer you to resources, starting with books by local authors Ijeoma Oluo and Robin Diangelo.

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        1. Heidi, you called a lady a racist. Thank you for your other points (which were good and had me googling), but raise the level of discussion for everyone’s benefit.

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  7. Hello, Ms Pope. Have you attended a Diversity Committee meeting? If you had, you’d see quite a few volunteers (many races, including Caucasian) who are giving their time & energy to creating a harmonious, empathetic & kind community. I grew up in Edmonds, went to college & moved out of state for many years & came back to raise my family in this beautiful town. I’m happy to know most in our community don’t share your views. Perhaps if you attended a few city council meetings or attended the diversity commission meetings you’d have a better, more educated opinion. Thank you to our the City of Edmonds for forward thinking this issue & for working to create an inclusive community for all. That’s the Edmonds I know & love. That’s the Edmonds I’m proud to raise my mixed race children in.

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  8. Thank you to the diversity commission. Clearly from the multiple comments above, there are white people in our community who enjoy racism and want to fight diversity, and have an utter lack of compassion for those on the receiving end of racism. I won’t be able to attend this event, I will be working, but will look for more events in the future.

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  9. I’m a member of the Diversity Commission, but I’m posting this as my own personal comment. I am a firm believer in listening to people and learning from their experiences. I’ve been to one World Cafe type event, and found it extremely interesting, with a lot to think over. It is a chance to challenge one’s assumptions about the topics discussed. I would encourage everyone who has commented on this article to attend, and have a face-to-face conversation about issues that do affect, and matter to, people who are part of Edmonds. I can’t be there, but you should be!

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  10. I came to see if this conversation shared on Facebook was, in fact, real; stayed for the high comedy from Elena and Matthew, and leave wanting to be Don Miller’s friend…

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  11. It seems Elena just wants to create controversy with her ugly comments, as she announced two weeks ago that she has left Lynnwood for Mukilteo, and prefers it greatly. So she doesn’t even live in Edmonds, and has in fact moved even farther away. I appreciate the growing diversity in Edmonds, and the growing strength of those who support the Diversity Commission. Elena does not reflect the majority of our community.

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  12. I see more people expressing this fear that white people of privilege will lose their advantages to people who are different in skin color, in nationality, in their expression of sexuality, in their faith or language. That fear explains a lot to me of what has been happening in our federal government: the anti-immigrant sentiment, the push for more guns without regulation, the way the Dr. Blasey Ford was crushed, the anti-moslem fears, the refusal to see the danger of climate change, the fear of the United Nations, the desire for authoritarian rule in the name of order. We need to find a way to share what we have on this planet – that kind of society may even be better because feelings of fear and isolation will be diminished. A Diversity Committee seems like a small but good start.

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    1. Poor Dr. Blasey Ford had a flaky story and fortunately we still have Due Process in this country. Reasonable gun ownership is protected by our Constitution. “White people of privilege” is racist language which is offense and divisive. Reasonable immigration controls is not authoritarian rule. The United Nations is an Organization, not a country. A Diversity Committee should be open to diverse voices, not just ones you agree with.

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      1. Allen, Dr Blasey aside, white privilege is not racist or divisive. I’m going to post some links, hopefully they attach in the comment. People of color cannot be racist. Prejudice, yes. Racist, no. Check out the links. These articles are often used as resources online for people doing anti racism work. There are also other resources and authors noted above.

        https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/fall-2018/what-is-white-privilege-really

        https://medium.com/the-establishment/your-calls-for-unity-are-divisive-as-f-ck-3d6584bca72f

        https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/ne95dm/how-to-be-a-white-ally-to-people-of-color

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  13. Black people can be racist. Power and priveledge have nothing to do with racism. People can even be racist against races theyve never met and thus have no power or privelege over. My link is pretty straight forward…
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism

    Your link about how white people can be an ally to POC really infantilizes the black community, and makes the broad assumption they all act and feel the same way according to their kind… Look at how Kanye is treated for not sticking to his own kind:
    https://youtu.be/fkcTNwaWxxs

    Candace Owens says that POC are on an ideological plantation, punished and ridiculed for not sticking to their own kind.

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