Lunch speakers value informing, inspiring, involving
Sandy Williams - The Black Lens
There are few people for whom I will shift my schedule if they ask me to do something. Mary is one. I have immense respect for the work of communication The Fig Tree does.
While there is much competition in media, we share photos, stories, events. Mary supports what we do. It speaks of her character and The Fig Tree's character.
I'm a word geek. I love words and their meanings. I love using words. That's why I publish a newspaper.
The Black Lens is an African American focused newspaper that has been around for four years. I'm a baby in comparison with 35 years.
I looked up the words of the theme, "Informing, Inspiring and Involving."
"Inform" is to impart information and knowledge. The Fig Tree has been imparting information and knowledge for 35 years. I can speak to how difficult it is to publish a newspaper. I wrote down all the stuff I do to get my paper out, which Mary does too.
We find stories, cover stories, photograph stories and edit stories. We do layouts, find ads and make sure the paper gets published and delivered. Then we bill for ads, do the finance and administrative work, and plan events to supplement the paper.
I've been doing it four years and I'm fairly exhausted. So 35 years of informing this community is no small task. The fact that this is a print, independent newspaper that has lasted for 35 years is amazing. I'm proud to stand here in support of you.
The second word is to "inspire"—to influence, move or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration. The Fig Tree does that by bringing understanding. It is not just covering the community but it creates community across barriers of race, culture, class and religion in a way no other publication in this community does.
I support The Fig Tree's work of engaging the community and inspiring us to be better people than we would be or could be before reading this paper.
"Involving" is to engage as a participant. The Fig Tree is not just a distant observer but is a participant in the community. One reason I started the Black Lens was because there was an absence of positive images of people of color in the media in this community. The exception is The Fig Tree. The images in the slide show of 2018-19 articles present the amazing diversity of stories about different people. Aside from my paper, The Fig Tree is the most diverse newspaper in terms of whom it covers and how it covers by storytelling.
It lives up to the three words: informing, inspiring and involving.
It's critically important today for us to support independent community newspapers. They are going away, and it's vital to us to understand what is happening that doesn't make it into the mainstream media, because that's what builds our community and takes us to a place we wouldn't be otherwise.
So I celebrate you and the work you have done, and I hope to be like Mary when I grow up.
Jason Clark – Second Harvest
At Second Harvest, our work is about getting healthful food to people every day. The only way that happens is through the fabric of our community. We have 8,000 volunteers. Dozens of local organizations, neighborhood churches, food pantries and meal programs feed thousands of people every week. When we serve hungry people, we want to make sure it's not just feeding someone today, but helping them feed themselves tomorrow, so they are healthier, happier and more prosperous. That involves community resources.
The Community Resource Guide is fundamental to that. It's an amazing source of information people can use. We are grateful for the work that goes into it, and we're proud to support and help distribute it. Our network of food banks get copies. If we forget to send it, they call and want to know where their copy is and when it's coming. It's helping us
Sima Thorpe - The Arc of Spokane
I've been reading the Fig Tree and been a sponsor for 25 years. The theme, "Informing, Inspiring and Involving," connects to inclusion. As executive director of The Arc of Spokane, including and inclusion are on my mind. March is intellectual and physical disabilities month.
Many Arc constituents are not involved or included in our community. They often experience another "I"—invisibility. The Fig Tree makes the invisible visible. Those on the margins of society, not included and the behind-the-scenes warriors for social justice are welcome in The Fig Tree's fold.
Disability is dehumanizing. The Arc sees its constituents as people with potential and part of the community.
Soon after I started at The Arc, Mary Stamp asked how we could partner. With jobs and job development needed for people with developmental disabilities, our constituents became part of the work force that delivers the Resource Directory—4,000 copies of them.
The Fig Tree is a force for involvement and inclusion. It lifts into light those in need to see. So, support The Fig Tree.
Theresa Hart - Newby-ginnings
I'm new to the Fig Tree family. Kaye Hult recently wrote an article about Newby-ginnings, telling how we began because my son, Rick Newby, was killed while serving in Iraq in 2011. I left my job as a nurse. While I was wondering what I would do without my son, many of his friends began coming to me with problems. Newby-ginnings is a veterans' support program with a thrift store. We give away things veterans or families need, housewares, clothes, furniture, appliances, medical equipment and even cars.
We also provide information on resources. That is where The Fig Tree's Resource Directories comes in. I have copies on my desk. They look like my Bible, because there are sticky notes everywhere, and highlights and pencil markings in the margins. We get a case of them, so we can provide it to some of more than 2,800 families who come to us for guidance. Others have tried to pull together resource directories, but this one is unbelievable. It is the most comprehensive I've seen. Thank you for making my job easier.
Kimmy Meinicke, Fig Tree board member and pastor at St. David's Episcopal Church, appealed for donations.
The four speakers have shared eloquently their experience with The Fig Tree, and why it is important in the work they do in the community.
The Fig Tree has a long history of connecting people and building networks, weaving the tapestry together. It's important to the health and wellbeing of the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene region and the rural communities.
Consider how you might support The Fig Tree financially or with your time. I challenge you to support the stories that are told, the community building that happens and the resource directory that is so vital for our area.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, April, 2019