Benefit speakers tell how Fig Tree intersects with efforts
Comments of seven (Kristine Hoover, Ben Cabildo, Kiantha Duncan, Verne Windham, Terri Anderson, Jeff Lambert, Jerry White) of 14 speakers at the Fig Tree Benefits are quoted below. Others were featured in April. Share videos at thefigtree.org/Benefit2021videos.html.
It is a joy to celebrate The Fig Tree's mission of connecting people, sharing stories, opening dialogue and inspiring people. Through the years, The Fig Tree has been a reliable, enduring source for leadership in neighborhoods and organizations.
It plays a role in our aspirations to be a better, more inclusive community as it supports ecumenical, interfaith, nonprofit and community efforts.
Articles point to work that needs to be done to help us value one another and build empathy. It shares inspiring stories of those who model leadership to counter hate and leadership for the common good. The Fig Tree helps us see ourselves as a rich and diverse community that has both a moral imperative and an economic imperative.
Our work is to create welcoming communities that name justice and equity as criteria to define what leadership is and is not. We also promote what is needed to move society forward towards the beloved community. That is what The Fig Tree has done, does and will do for us.
I worked with The Fig Tree for more than 10 years through Unity in Action.
I appreciate The Fig Tree for two reasons: It provides a voice for our struggle in the community and a sense of belonging we need in our daily work to fight discrimination and marginalization.
We can read The Fig Tree and not feel alone. It gives a sense that people are out there doing the same things so we do not feel alone in the struggle. The Fig Tree is strong support for justice in the community. When people get to the point they feel like giving up, the Fig Tree's reports of struggles gives a sense of belonging and being part of a big movement.
I learned of The Fig Tree soon after moving to Spokane. It is community driven, a good read about different faiths, about different initiatives bringing the community together through justice, love and kindness.
The NAACP and Fig Tree have had a relationship for years that is important to the city and members, supporting work and organizations that do justice, love, peace and unity.
I hope you will support it.
We are not alone.
Ever stammered, stuttered and glanced at the ground when admitting you are a Christian? That happens, because we live alongside Fundamentalism that says, "I am right and you are wrong."
What do we need? Our personal fundamentalism challenged. Seeing the "other" is not a spineless capitulation to an external tolerance while we protect deep-seated pre-conceptions. We need both information and the challenge of the "other." This is a value The Fig Tree brings me: The voice of the "other."
There is so much more than my comfortable assumptions. There is the recognition of the many diverse challenges for our brothers and sisters. Then there is recognizing them in us, in me. When that happens, we begin our journey on the path to solutions.
Did I say path? There are many roads. The Fig Tree points to important ones. The ones that can lead us forward are widened and paved by our need and our collective will.
That's why I value the enlightened mechanisms of our civilization. In Spokane, The Fig Tree, its Resource Directory, and the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference are paths on that journey.
On that journey, we need to remember: I am not alone. We are not alone.
The Tenants Union has been in partnership with The Fig Tree since we opened our Spokane office in 2013. We participate in the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference, making citizens aware of tenants' needs for policy changes. Few know of landlord-tenant laws, tenants rights, what policies do and what gaps lead people to be homeless.
People also learn of our services through The Fig Tree newspaper and Resource Directory. The newspaper has run articles on the housing crises and the racial divide in housing. They bring volunteers to our agency and draw people to testify for city ordinances. Articles inspire people to write legislators.
We advertise in the Resource Directory every year and many tenants learn about us from that. Our services do no good if people do not know about them.
The Fig Tree shares our concerns for equity and justice for all.
The Fig Tree is the only publication in Spokane focusing on nonprofits. It keeps us up on innovative programs of the faith and nonprofit communities.
I was recently interviewed as director of the Dishman Hills Conservancy. The article informed readers about plans for our education program and inspired response of one woman donating a five figure amount.
The Fig Tree helps us speak truth to power and collaborate. Riverkeeper communicates ways the river needs protection and seeks to connect communities, like the five upper Columbia tribes who were water keepers for millennia.
We appreciate The Fig Tree covering issues that are hard to communicate, helping people understand why they are important. It shares stories of community members, leaders and advocates, connecting us to leaders and water advocates on law and advocacy. It's easy to lose perspective and the spiritual side. The Fig Tree highlights the spiritual nature of environmental, justice and community advocacy.
The Fig Tree is more than written words. It relates to work of creating just and loving relationships with communities and nature.
To donate, visit thefigtree.org/donate.html or send a check to The Fig Tree, 1323 S. Perry St., Spokane WA 99202.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, May, 2021