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Gloria Baynes appreciates multiracial, multifaith coverage

Gloria Baynes is a new board member.


Gloria Baynes, who teaches in the Africana Studies Department at Eastern Washington University and is the liaison for the College in High School Program that connects with some of the high schools on African American literature in Spokane Public Schools, is a new member of The Fig Tree Board.

"The Fig Tree has been in circulation for more than the 30 years. Since I have been in Spokane for almost 30 years, I have read some of the copies. I'm inspired by the wonderful narratives by people and about people who are passionate about their faith, values, goals and activism," she said.

Gloria appreciates reading the variety of stories about the cross-cultural connections with the community as a whole and with the BIPOC communities.

"Multicultural topics are included in The Fig Tree as it covers diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice," she said.

"Mary interviewed me 10 years ago on my community involvement. I loved the recent article on Rev. Andrews who is pastor of the oldest African American church in the state," she said. "Stories reflect the Spokane community, connecting the community and making us proud to be in Spokane. So many stories inspire me.

"The Fig Tree includes stories on what is facing Spokane, youth and the Black community in a way that gives us hope," Gloria said. "For me as a Black woman, reading The Fig Tree expands my knowledge, because it covers a variety of faith communities.

"I'm a member of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, so connection with faith and other faith communities is important.  We all serve the same God," she said.

Gloria hopes to do The Fig Tree's writers training and eventually will write for it.

"The stories are positive and can inspire our children to remain in Spokane because of developing cultural community," she said. "I'm on the board because I value the stories that highlight the multicultural, multifaith and multiracial communities to promote understanding among the groups.

"We have a low percentage of diversity in Spokane, but what diversity we have we should respect and value," said Gloria, who appreciates acknowledging Native American heritage month in November, Hispanic heritage month in September and African American History Month in February.

"These are only three months in the year. I like that The Fig Tree highlights these stories all year and like to see Spokane honor our various ethnicities all year."

Copyright@ The Fig Tree, May 2024