Indigenous People’s Day in Edmonds?

Diversity Commission also awards first 2 grants, announces film series
By Maria Montalvo | Aug 10, 2017

The Edmonds Diversity Commission is requesting that the Edmonds City Council consider a resolution naming an Indigenous People’s Day in the city.

The commission, as a whole, is supportive of and engaged in this campaign to contribute to “a more accurate history,” Commissioner Diana White said.

The decision was made to request that Indigenous People’s Day coexist with Columbus Day – rather than replace it as has been the approach in some cities – in order to invite an inclusive and comprehensive discussion of American history.

“History is still being told,” White said, “and we are not done telling it yet.”

Much of the commission’s Aug. 2 meeting focused on how to build on progress made in the first half of the year and continue to raise awareness and impact behavior related to diversity and inclusion.

In addition, the commission, which features new members Sarah Mixson and Anabel Hovig, announced the award of its first two $500 grants under its diversity-oriented grant program.

The first, a collaboration of local community groups and the Edmonds School District Department of Equity, Diversity, and Outreach, will be a film screening and discussion of “Black Girl in Suburbia.” Filmmaker and director Melissa Lowery, who lives in Oregon, will participate in the event and discussion of the 55-minute film.

The second, “Stories for Self and Solidarity” – a multicultural event – has garnered support from a range of businesses and community leaders and groups, including the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition.

It will be open to the public and to people of all ages and discuss the importance of narrative and messaging, and the ways language shapes our worlds and can be used to build bridges.

The intent of the Diversity Commission’s grant program is to harness the power and enthusiasm of local community groups, agencies, organizations or individuals by providing funding to support additional programming that promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

It will continue in 2018 and future applicants are encouraged to monitor the commission website for more information.

Following the screening of “Black Girl in Suburbia,” the Edmonds Diversity Film Series will hold its first screening in October at the Edmonds Theatre. In partnership with the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA), the Diversity Commission will sponsor a series of six films with a diversity and inclusion theme and screen these movies free to the public.

The commission will lead a discussion following each screening. Dates and times will be posted on the city website soon. And the commission will again organize a fall World Café-style discussion of diversity and inclusion challenges in Edmonds, with more information publicized in coming months.

As part of its ongoing mission, the commission is reaching out to an ever-growing list of diversity and inclusion-related resources so it can collaborate in its programming in the future.

All citizens are requested to contact the commission with contact information for any organizations or individuals that have a similar mission so it can improve its reach across the area and expand the website with resources for individuals in search of information.

For more information, go to

Maria Montalvo is a member of the Edmonds Diversity Commission and writes a Beacon column called “Moment’s Notice.”


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