Thanks to all of you who could come to the meeting yesterday! Such amazing ideas and participation!
For those of you who could come to our meeting on MLK Day, we thank you for your input and attendance! One thing we realized more than anything else is that this group is needed in Bend.
To fill everyone in, we talked about the three “pillars” of Embrace Bend: support, activism and serving as a watchdog.
The Support pillar consists of three things: the Facebook group, the blog (embracebend.com has been grabbed) and networking/social opportunities together.
The Activism pillar will focus on working with the school board, teachers and parents to increase awareness of inequities, promote diversity training and offer suggestions on curriculum changes. We will also work with the City Council to take the inclusivity proclamation and turn it into specific actionable steps for Bend in order to make Bend a place where EVERYONE can work and live.
The Watchdog pillar will work with the blog to tell stories of inequities and racism, intolerance, homophobia etc in this town. The goal is that this blog will become a record of behavior as well as something we can point to in our activism. We also will start to connect to the local media and build relationships so that they will come to us for a comment when issues of diversity and KPOV are in the news. KPOV has also been offered up as a starting place for us to talk about our group (thanks to Michael Funke and Terrel Young)
Our goals for the next three months (and we need someone to take the lead on each of these things)
1) compile a list of what schools do (or don’t do) for Black History Month and how to integrate Black History Month (and Chinese New Year and Hispanic Heritage Month etc) into the curriculum all year long
2) get the blog up and running - collect a couple of stories
3) research what schools and districts are doing around the country for disciplining children who act in a racist/homophobic/trans phobic/religious intolerant/differently abled way. One thing that is clear is that there is no standard process in Bend and it is hurting our kids. Then help draw up a proposal for the school board.
4) research trainings that kids and teachers can do and have done in other communities that promote inclusivity and awareness of privilege
5) look into other cities and their inclusion proclamations and how they ACTED upon them-looking for action items we can bring to the city council
6) plan a social for kids - we want this to be an event where POC, trans, muslim, differently abled kids can come and just be kids and their parents can meet each other
7) find school board candidates that REALLY will promote Embrace Bend's principles and promote them to our networks!
So in addition to needing someone to spearhead the above 7 things, we also need people to lead all sections of different groups we hope to embrace at Embrace Bend. We need a lead for:
1) the LGBTQ community
2) the Latinx community
3) the Black community
4) the religious community
5) the differently abled community
6) tell us if you want to lead a community not mentioned here - we want to embrace all groups
Your role would be to serve as an admin on the Embrace Bend Facebook page, help find pieces for our blog based on real stories, encourage others in your community to join, do some research and thinking on ways to improve things for your community in Bend. Would not require that much time-just your passion and your networks!
Let us know if you have any other questions or ideas!