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September 2016 News Reports

2016-17 Resource Directory is now available

            This year The Fig Tree published the 2016-17 Resource Directory in July, as part of the ongoing partnership with Spokane County HeadStart/ECEAP. It is ready for distribution by mail and in bulk quantities.

Staff is receiving requests for copies and seeking volunteers to help with the mailing and deliveries starting in September.

“We printed 12,000 copies, 500 copies more than last year,” said directory editor Malcolm Haworth.  “Last year several organizations ordered more copies at the end of the year. Watch for copies coming in the mail soon.  Bulk orders will take longer.”

Copies may be picked up at The Fig Tree office in the Emmanuel Family Life Center, 631 S. Richard Allen Ct., room 215. The entry is on the east side of the building off S. Ivory St.  To arrange pickups, call 535-4112 on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Updated data is also online at 

“We include a wide range of congregations and agencies, so people can connect with the resources of value to them,” he said.

“We hope agencies and congregations will inform us of new listings and changes, which we can add online and include in the next annual directory,” Malcolm said.

“While the directory is available free, we rely on donations of directory users—$8 for one copy, $7/copy for five copies, $6/copy for 10 copies and $5/copy for 25 or more,” he said.

Donations may be mailed to The Fig Tree, 1323 S. Perry St., Spokane WA 99202, or online at

For information, call 216-6090 or email

One Peace Many Paths plans for days of peace

The 11 Days of Peace from Sept. 11 to 21, sponsored by One Peace Many Paths in Spokane, will feature the Compassion Games.

The opening event is a Compassion Forum and Resource Fair at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4340 W. Ft. Wright Dr.

There will be sessions introducing the Compassion Games and breakout sessions for community dialogue on how Spokane can be a more Compassionate City led by Philip Tyler, president of Spokane NAACP; on Compassionate Justice led by Smart Justice; on Compassion and Interfaith Relations, and on Self and Personal Compassion, led by Russell Kolts, professor of psychology at Eastern Washington University.

There will also be a presentation of a video on a First Nation singer/songwriter, Ta’Kaiya Blaney.  The 15-year-old is an Everyday Community Action Hero who lives north of Vancouver, B.C.

She promotes living responsibly on the earth, caring for the ecosystems and ending oppression, racism and corruption.

The closing presentation at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21, is being held in conjunction with Pax Christi and Gonzaga University’s Institute for Hate Studies.

It will include a World Peace Flag Ceremony created by the World Peace Prayer Society to affirm peace around the world.  It’s an audience participation event.

During the 11 Days of Peace, organizer Joan Broeckling of One Peace Many Paths, said that people are invited to connect with partner groups to help them provide services, do fund raisers and engage in random acts of kindness.

Several organizations are offering activities and seeking volunteers to assist them with projects: the Ronald McDonald House Polo Fund Raiser; Greater Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels’ Grandparents Day benefit; the Food for All Garden; The Arc Rock the Runway benefit Free Rein Therapeutic Riding fund-raising horseback ride/hike; Northwest Harvest Distribution Center food packaging; the Soka Gakai Exhibition on “Building a Culture of Peace Pinwheel Making Project”; the Native non-Native Talking Circle and Potluck, and a Community Sing for Peace at Gonzaga’s Hemmingson Center.

For information, call 536-2811 or email

Transitions holds ‘People Who Care’ event

Transitions’ annual “People Who Care Event” Thursday, Oct. 6, includes a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and lunch at noon at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park in Spokane.

At the benefits, Transitions informs people of its services and of the women and children it serves as it seeks to end poverty and homelessness in Spokane.

For 20 years, this local agency has hosted the “People Who Care Event,” featuring speakers, who share their stories of growth and success, and a video that tells about the impact of Transitions’ five programs.

“This year, after recent budget cuts, we need more funds to continue our work to end poverty and homelessness,” said Mary Tracey, development director.

Transitions seeks event sponsors, table sponsors, table captains and guests for this event.

During 2015, Transitions served 1,755 women and children, helped 21 women further their education, supported 40 who found employment, provided 64 women with one-on-one vocational counseling, and empowered 119 women to move into permanent housing.

Since 1995, it has helped women, children and families rebuild their lives after abuse, addiction, mental illness, poverty, and homelessness. Transitions administers Women’s Hearth, Miryam’s House, Transitional Living Center, EduCare and New Leaf Bakery Cafe.

For information, call 328-6702, email or visit

Faith Action Network plans fall gatherings

Following the primary elections in August, the Faith Action Network (FAN) Interfaith Leaders’ Council issued a call for candidates for public office to commit themselves to participate responsibly and respectfully in the electoral process.

“Recently our Interfaith Leaders’ Council reflected on the teachings and values of their faith traditions, and they felt a need to raise their moral and public voices in the social, economic and political context of this year’s election,” said the Rev. Carol Jensen, FAN governing board co-chair.

Initially, 33 interfaith leaders issued this statement—see page 11—and will continue to invite other faith leaders to sign on to the statement and share it with their communities.

FAN is also starting a blog, asking faith leaders in Washington to share reflections on how their theology, faith, culture or traditions shape how they see and do the work of social justice.

The blog will include diverse perspectives and stories about faith guiding social conscience, said Paul Benz, FAN co-director.

“While we remain focused on the actions we can take together for systemic change, our interfaith leaders remind us we also need to raise our moral voices to bear on the issues of the day,” he said. “With this blog, we’re excited to share the wisdom of those engaged in our network.”

The first post is the Interfaith Leaders Council’s statement.

FAN is also planning candidate forums and initiative forums.

In addition, it is organizing small, geographic cluster group meetings as opportunities for advocates and communities to interact, build closer relationships among faith communities, hear advocacy updates and strategize on advocacy plans and events.

Cluster meetings scheduled in September are:

• Central Washington Cluster: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, at Ellensburg First United Methodist Church, 210 N Ruby St.

• Yakima and Tri-Cities Cluster: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 640 N Columbia Center Blvd. in Kennewick.

For information, call (206) 625-9790 or visit

YWCA luncheon recognizes achievements

The YWCA Spokane has announced winners of the 2016 Women of Achievement Awards to be honored at the 2016 Women of Achievement Impact Luncheon, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7, at the Davenport Grand Hotel, 333 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

“Each year, I am awed by the accomplishments and dedication of our award winners,” said Regina Malveaux, chief executive officer of the YWCA Spokane. “Our 2016 winners will inspire others to reach for more and to contribute to the health of Spokane.”

For 34 years, YWCA Spokane has celebrated women in the community for their achievements and commitment to give back.  The luncheon has honored more than 200 women while raising awareness of domestic abuse in the community.

This year, the event will feature Ashley Judd, actress, humanitarian and advocate for women and children worldwide. 

Ashley has spoken out on the impact of human trafficking, alleviating poverty and social justice.  Recently, she has focused on raising awareness on the need for educating girls worldwide.

Awards are given in six categories. This year, the YWCA will include a Lifetime Achievement Award to acknowledge an outstanding lifetime of volunteerism, advocacy and community support.

Winners of 2016 awards are:

Mari Clack, an advocate for women and children in need – Lifetime Achievement Award;

Jan Wigen, a patron and supporter of the arts - Arts and Culture;

Joyce Cameron, chief development officer for Providence Health Care Foundation - Business and Industry;

Roberta Wilburn, associate dean of graduate studies in education, Whitworth University - Carl Maxey Racial and Social Justice Award;

Robbie Paul, director of Native American Health Sciences Programs, WSU Spokane - Community Enhancement;

Chrissy Davis Jones, dean of Student support services, Spokane Falls Community College - Education, and

Lisa Shaffer, founder &  CEO, Paw Print Genetics - Science, Technology and Environment.

For information, call 326-1190 or email

Spokane River Clean-Up planned

The 13th Annual Spokane River Clean-Up will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17, at five locations.

Conservation groups, businesses, clubs, schools, congregations and the public gather to “give the Spokane River some good old fashion love,” said Lindsay Box, coordinator of development and communication for The Lands Council.

Last year, more than 600 volunteers removed over four tons of debris from the Spokane River shoreline.

This year, the clean-up will cover locations in Spokane Valley, the University District, the Downtown River Gorge area, High Bridge Park, and People’s Park.

Individuals and groups can register online, designating the area they want to work.

For information, call 209-2851 or email

Unity in the Community draws more than 2000

Children from Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center sang at the 2016 Unity in the Community celebration in August in Spokane. There were about 100 vendors and 2,000 attending.

Musician-educator gives program on interfaith roots

The Spokane Area Jewish Family Services and Humanities Washington are partnering to bring Antonio Davidson-Gómez, a musician, educator, facilitator and Jubilation Foundation Fellow for music in education, to Spokane for an interfaith dialogue on Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Spain.

The program, “Saffron and Honey: Muslims, Jews and Christians in Medieval Spain,” is at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 8, at Temple Beth Shalom, 1322 E. 30th Ave.  Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation at 7:15 p.m.

Antonio, a member of the 2015-2016 Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, will look at the commonalties, connections, tensions and conflicts between Jews, Muslims and Christians today and the historical threads of connection and collaboration that defy the headlines, said Neal Schindler, director of the Spokane Area Jewish Family Services, which is organizing the event.

Drawing from a story of personal discovery, he leads a discussion that reveals medieval Spain as a crossroads connecting the Golden Age of Islam, Sephardic Judaism, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.  Antonio is an educator and percussionist who fosters musical dialogue between cultures. He has studied, performed and recorded in various genres with emphases on Mediterranean and Afro-Latin music.

Formerly a K-12 teacher, Tony, who lives in Puyallup, has developed curricula for PBS and the Experience Music Project Museum/Smithsonian.

Spokane Area Jewish Family Services programs help strengthen families, children and individuals, while incorporating Jewish principles, culture and values.

For information, call 747-7394 or email

Fall Equinox 2016 “ Finding Balance in our Lives”

Join us for readings, chants, meditation, prayers and communion, featuring Native American flutists Judith Brownhawk and David Sharp. Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 pm. St. David’s Episcopal Church, 7315 N. Wall St., Spokane. For more information 466-3100 .