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Community Spotlight — May 2021

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P.O.W.E.R Capacity-Building Fundraiser

Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights has an online fundraiser that continues through May 9. The fundraiser is hosted by The Peace Development Fund to augment a grant from the fund to POWER. The groups main work is informing people of their legal rights to public assistance, educating the community about poverty and working to alleviate poverty. Plans for 2021 include launching an online market for Alchemilla Feminist Economic Collaborative members to sell their wares. Give a little (or a lot if you can). Pass on the link with a note to friends to contribute.  Learn more about POWER at

National Bail Out: Black Mamas Day May 9, 2021

Since 2017, NBO has freed more than 500 people from cages and provided them with supportive services including long-term housing and trauma counseling. Today, while the country is slowly opening back up and many have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, there are Black mamas and caregivers suffering in jail simply because they can’t afford to pay bail. We know that people who are incarcerated cannot practice social distancing inside a cage. Even in the midst of the global pandemic, people are still being criminalized, punished, and denied their freedom.

Join us to honor five years of Black Mama’s Day Bail Outs! Help us reach our goal of raising $500k to #FreeBlackMamas by making an offering – as much as you can!

American Friends Service Committee

May 1 – May 10. AFSC invites everyone to join the #FreeThemAll Mother’s Day Letter Writing and Caravan event, Communities across the US are joining together for the National Days of Action to #FreeThemAll from May 1 through May 9/10 (Mother’s Day), 2021.

In Washington, there is a letter-writing campaign from now through May 7, to write supportive letters to immigrants who are being detained in the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma and save the date for a #FreeThemAll caravan to Tacoma on Saturday, May 8. Follow this link for a toolkit, zoom links and instructions as to how to participate in writing cards and letters. Join the call to #FreeThemAll. You can access the toolkit in English here and in Spanish here

Evergreen public seminar:  College behind bars

Saturday, May 15, 12-1:30. This is part of a series of seminars “Reimagining Public Safety”                  

This presentation focuses on the recent documentary about a Prison Initiative Program established at Bard College. The public series was designed to showcase the unique power of Evergreen’s model of action-oriented community-based interdisciplinary inquiry. Each event put together a dynamic panel of contemporaries to engage in “urgent studies” that serve to “focus and legitimize research on solutions.”

The Spring series, hosted by “Reimagining Community Safety,” featured three seminars that focused on: (1) alternatives to policing and incarceration, (2) transformative and restorative justice, and (3) the power of a liberal arts education as a countermeasure to mass incarceration, as well as (4) a grand finale focused on bioregional regeneration.

More information for the May 15 online event and recordings of the previous 2 seminars are available at Public Seminars 

League of Women Voters

Join the Thurston Co. LWV “Talk about Race” book group. They will discuss Caste: The Origin of our Discontent. Sunday, May 16, 2 pm. (Reviewed in this issue and April WIP). Click here to find resources for increasing awareness, opportunities to participate in relevant events, and current information about the book group.  The League is a nonpartisan organization that offers ways for people to learn about issues that concern them.

People Powered Fair Maps is a nationwide redistricting campaign of the US League. It’s focused on creating fair voting districts in all 50 states- an important goal for all our futures. A Washington state Commission is now redrawing our legislative and congressional district boundaries. These districts are key to election results. The League created “Speak Up Schools” with information and support for people to bring their views to the Commission, which is made up of two people appointed by the Democratic Party and two by the Republicans, with a non-partisan chair. The live schools are completed, but the commission work is ongoing. Consider participating – find info in the Redistricting Forum Toolkit posted on the LWVWA website.

Olympia Timberland Library – Genealogy Cafe

May 20, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Drop-in actually! Researchers are invited to bring their genealogy questions to get help from members of the Olympia Genealogical Society in the library’s meeting room. The library offers many free resources. Use Ancestry Library Edition for free and Available Anywhere until June 30, 2021. Access other free genealogy tools at home with an Internet connection by logging in with your library card and look for the prompt. Staff members at any Timberland Library can offer in-person help as library services are fully restored.

 GRuB is good in the springtime!

Sign up for a garden built by GRuB. Want a GRuBby Garden of your very own? GRuB is accepting applications from folks who would like a backyard garden and qualify for the program.  Enrollment is open now for GRuB’s Garden Program. Visit their website for links to an online application, or call (360) 753-5522 to request a paper application.

Fireweed workshop with GRuB. Thursday, June 3, 3:00-4:00 pm. Fireweed represents the promise that beauty and balance will return after bodily illness or environmental destruction. In this workshop participants learn how to use fireweed for food and medicine, and explore fireweed teachings around restoration. Taught by Mariana Harvey (Yakama) and Charlene Koutchak (Inupiaq). Online, pay what you can ($0/$15/$30 – no one turned away.) .Participants will need wifi internet and to download a Zoom application before the class. We’ll send information on how to login to class and Zoom link with your registration.

2021 Bicycle Commuter Challenge

2021 Bicycle Commuter Challenge Saturday, May 1, 2021 – Monday, May 31, 2021  The BCC is open to ALL BICYCLE RIDES this year- just get out and ride, for the JOY of it! Log in or create an account on the BCC website, log your May bike rides, and you will be entered in drawings for prizes!  Click here for events in May

Youth Bike Challenge

Youth Bike Challenge, May 1-31, 2021 Saturday, May 1, 2021 – Monday, May 31, 2021  Thurston County Youth! Ride your bike on any 10 days in May and win a prize! Challenge runs May 1 through May 31, 2021

Glen’s Parallax Perspectives:  Economic Justice

On his May program, Glen will interview two guests who are experts in problems and solutions under the topic “Economic Justice.”  Bartlett Naylor is a Financial Policy Advocate working for Public Citizen (, the savvy non-profit founded by Ralph Nader half a century ago.  Sarah Anderson is a Program Director at the Institute for Policy Studies (, another non-profit that has worked on a cutting-edge  issues 1963. The speakers will cover long-standing economic problems that led to our current crisis along with ways to promoteeconomic  justice and fairness for ordinary people. 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 “Economics.”  Questions?  Contact Glen Anderson, producer/host at (360) 491-9093

OCEP Conservation Victory!

At the end of April, the Olympia Coalition for Ecosystem Preservation announced conservation of another 1.75 acres in West Olympia. Located at 1515 West Bay Drive, this site once hosted the offices of the Hardel Mutual Plywood Corporation and a Puget Sound Energy substation. It  has 420 feet of frontage on West Bay Drive and represents a unique opportunity to conserve dwindling shoreline forest and to improve water quality through green infrastructure. The acquisition was made possible by a $212K donation from an anonymous couple in the community and a matching donation from the Angela J. Bowen Conservancy Foundation.

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