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Community Spotlight — January 2021

Stories of Resilience:  Graduate Micro-Business Showcase

Enterprise for Equity (E4E)

E4E has been helping people with limited incomes and others start small businesses in the South Sound since 1999. They provide people with limited incomes with access to training, support, and funds to develop their own small businesses, motivated by  the belief that people can and do transform their lives as they bring their strengths, initiative and dreams to their entrepreneurial efforts. The organization was initiated when local volunteers brought together representatives of low-income serving agencies in the South Sound such as the Food Bank, Refugee and Immigrant Services Center, and the Housing Authority to learn about the self-employment needs of the people they serve.

As part of their 20th Anniversary celebration, E4E produced a film showcasing recent graduates of the program talking about their businesses. Inspired new entrepreneurs from Aberdeen to Raymond and places in between confirm the value of E4E. .You’ll find the video and more information about this extraordinary Olympia-based program at  “news and events” at

Shuruq 4.5 – Annual Arab Festival for online viewing

Rachel Corrie Foundation

This year’s  rich and varied Arab Festival, Shuruq 4.5, brought riveting films, dance events, cooking demos, live readings, a theater performance and more on-line in November. Now you can tune in for a few minutes or an hour to see individual events at the  Writing Showcase Archive and the Events Archive. Dip into  the smile-inducing folk dancing by a Vancouver BC based troupe engaged in a high-energy choreographed frolic; take a front-row seat at a deep discussion of Seattle’s Arab feminism; consider the theater of “unlearning” colonial narratives. There’s lots more at your fingertips, thanks to the organizing work of the RFC.

“Leave no trace”

Leonor R. Fuller Gallery Postcard Exhibition    

South Puget Sound Community College

Artists have been asked to decorate up to three postcards, using the medium of their choice according to the theme “leave no trace.” Throughout the month of January the postcards will be on view to community members either online or in person which requires a private appointment.  The event is also designed as a fundraiser, so people can bid on postcards through an  online auction portal beginning on January 8 when there will be a virtual opening reception and ending at the closing reception on February 5.

FairVote Washington

Thurston County Monthly Zoom Meetup

 FairVote Washington meets every first Saturday of the month at 9 am over zoom.  January 2 and February 6 upcoming. Join fellow ranked-choice voting (RCV) supporters. Bring your devices, your creativity and your passion to make RCV a reality in Washington State. Potential topics include: sharing updates about state and national efforts, reviewing RCV basics, planning RCV outreach events for our chapter, letter writing and training/practicing for canvassing.  the ranked-choice voting movement is growing and we need you! RSVP is not necessary, but it helps us to plan accordingly. Please feel free to contact Betsy or Becky with agenda suggestions or questions at  RSVP for one (or all!) of our upcoming Zoom meetings here:

Regional Housing Action Plan Forum

January 13, 5-6:30 pm

The public is invited to a virtual forum where officials from Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater (in collaboration with Thurston Regional Planning Council) will describe the findings of a consultant’s report about housing needs and “gaps” in our housing inventory.  The cities received a grant and have been working on an “action plan” for some time. Now they’re ready to announce what actions they are  contemplating that might encourage developers to construct more types of housing. The event will start with the officials and maybe staff making a presentation and then they will take questions from the zoom participants. This is not an event to gather input  To participate you must register here:  The event will be recorded and posted to the project website for those unable to make it.  One completed element of the grant is a housing “needs assessment,”

including a 25-year projection of housing affordable at different income levels (see details here).

“Glen’s Parallax Perspectives”

The January 2021 TV interview with Mary Lou Finley proposes specific changes in public policies – affirming that ordinary people can organize from the grassroots up to put bold, positive visions in place locally and nationally.  Many of our nation’s problems existed even before Trump came along and made them worse.  Our long-standing problems include racial injustice, economic inequality, environmental degradation, a foreign policy  both cruel and violent, and some dysfunctional aspects of our electoral systems. Finley  has decades of experience working for peace, racial justice and a variety of other key issues.  She has taught and written extensively to help people discover the power of nonviolent grassroots organizing to solve the kinds of problems described here.  The interview airs on cable channel 22 of Thurston Community Media ( at 1:30 pm Mondays, 5:00 pm Wednesdays, 9:00 pm Thursdays.  Watch the interview and get a summary of the program plus more information at in the “TV Programs” and “Health Care Reform” categories.

Questions?  Contact Glen Anderson, producer/host at (360) 491-9093 

Educate, Agitate, Organize

Bowl of Hope was started by members of the community to act on the reality that everyone needs  good, nutritious food.  Also delicious.  Bowl of Hope serves and supports the homeless population through meals and daily essentials. Since this summer, volunteers under the direction of master chef Linda Mehwirter have networked with local groups to create organic meals for less than $1 per meal.  As the weather turns colder, hot meals are needed more than ever for people living outside.  BoH is inviting everyone to join their $1 MEAL CAMPAIGN — donating once or monthly.  If you can donate $100 for 100 meals, they will send you an enamel pin designed by Jessica Thornton.

Thurston County Food Bank

The Thurston County food bank continues to be a vital support to many people and places in our community. In Olympia, the food bank at 220 Thurston is open in January every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 am to 3 pm, EXCEPT Monday January 18, Martin Luther Kin g Day.  On Wednesday January 13 there will be THE OTHER BANK open from 11-3 with non-food items such as toiletries, diapers etc available.

Even during the pandemic, you can still volunteer at the Thurston County Food Bank, and they are in need of help now more than ever. They have a variety of volunteer tasks available, from food sorting and delivery, to office support, to facility and equipment maintenance. Call us for details: (360) 754-5703 x105. For more details about how to contact them and what is involved, go to

WIP is looking for copy editors!

If your friends are always rolling their eyes as you correct their grammar, if you find the difference between “your” and “you’re” to be worthy of notice, WIP will have a place for you. Make corrections and format articles for our “production department” each month and come to our proofreading meetings the last Sunday of the month — depending on pandemic protocols.  Let’s connect — send us an email if you’re interested in checking out this fun volunteer job. Put COPY EDITING in the subject line:

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