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  • Writer's pictureCultures Connecting

Newsletter: November 2023 Issue 2

Cultures Connecting banner with logo and tagline.

Thanksgiving and Day of Mourning

Old painting of traditional Thankgiving narrative of pilgrims peacefully sharing food with Native Americans.

As we approach Thanksgiving, it's common to recall the story we were taught in school about the camaraderie and peace between Native Americans and Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony in the 17th Century. However, it's crucial to recognize that this narrative primarily stems from the perspective of the colonialists. To foster cultural sensitivity and inclusion, it's important to explore alternative viewpoints. Many Indigenous people, for example, call Thanksgiving a Day of Mourning.

If you're interested in delving deeper into this topic, below are some articles that help us rethink Thanksgiving, along with resources for educators:

Does this mean we should all feel shame about Thanksgiving and stop celebrating?* No. How we choose to approach this holiday is up to each of us to decide but what we can do is individually and collectively strive to create more awareness and knowledge around the holiday. Consider doing the following:

  • Educate yourself and recognize Thanksgiving as a Day of Mourning for many Indigenous people.

  • Give a land acknowledgment at your gathering and consider donating to landback projects like Real Rent Duwamish.

  • Respect and believe the stories of Indigenous people. Seek out articles written by them and try to see their point of view.

  • Create awareness around the language we use to describe the history of Thanksgiving (e.g. use 'colonizers' instead of 'settlers').

  • Create new Thanksgiving traditions by integrating new foods or changing the way you celebrate.

  • Give thanks for these opportunities to learn and grow! They may not feel comfortable but as one of our Foundational Beliefs states, "experiencing discomfort is important to learning."

*Some thoughts about feeling bad from an art therapist.


Dr. Caprice Hollins on DEI After 5 Podcast

Our co-founder Caprice was on an episode of DEI After 5 with Sacha Thompson. They explore their personal journeys and the importance of self-awareness in DEIBelonging work, particularly confronting internalized belief systems. Click on the video below to watch their interview or listen on the DEI After 5 podcast on the podcatcher of your choice.


From Mississippi to a PhD

Junebug book cover of young elementary aged black boy in purple checked button down shirt.

Our colleague Dr. Wilson Edward Reed recently published his memoir, JuneBug, about his childhood growing up in Mississippi during the height of Jim Crow Segregation. JuneBug, ideal for middle grade readers and above, follows his journey to self-worth from Mississippi to Seattle with humor and heart ache.

Dr. Reed explained what inspired him to write, "One day after a speaking engagement...during the question and answer session, the students had so many questions about my personal history, my

cultural heritage, and how I escaped Mississippi, I realized that JuneBug was was a story I needed to write. You can visit the book's website to learn more about the book or grab your copy at wherever books are sold.


The White Privilege Conference

The Privilege Institute promotional image with #wpc25tulsa and three black keynote speakers names and headshots. First is Esther Armah. Second is Glenn Singleton and third is Monique Clark.

The Privilege Institute's White Privilege Conference (WPC) will be held April 3-6, 2024 in Tulsa, OK. The theme is "We are Family." According to the conference website, they describe the event as follows:

"WPC is an annual dynamic, challenging, comprehensive, and collaborative experience. As has been our tradition for decades, we dive into the difficult concepts of privilege and oppression around race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, etc. Through the exploration of their role in all systems (banking, health care, justice, education, etc.), we offer solutions and team building strategies to work towards a more equitable world. We empower and equip individuals to work for equity and justice through self and social transformations."

Visit their WPC website to learn more and to register.


Black Joy Playlist from We Dream in Black

The National Domestic Workers Alliance released a playlist for the 2023 We Dream in Black Organizing Institute. According to the organization,

"We Dream in Black (WeDiB) is an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and is the organizing home that centers the voices and experiences of Black, Afro-Latina and Afro-descendant domestic workers."

Visit WeDIB to learn more and in the meantime, you can listen to their playlist on Spotify by clicking on the image below.

Screenshot of Spotify playlist Black Joy=Black Power will list of songs.
Wood clock, black calendar, blank post it notes and pins partially off camera. Title is Social Justice DEIB Calendar on the left.

Upcoming DEIB/Social Justice Events

For details on these and other events, workshops and conferences, visit our Events Calendar. If you have an event you would like us to share, please reach out to us!

  • 11/16: Cultures Connecting Workshop: Hiring & Retaining a Diverse Workforce

  • 11/16: SURJ Abolition Action Hour

  • 11/16: NAMI LGBTQ+ Support Group

  • 11/17: Leading White Accountability Groups

  • 11/18: Working with the Live Wire of Oppression Workshop

  • 11/18: Hike the West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails

  • 11/18: Sacred Saturdays Community Healing Live

  • 11/18: Columbia City Nigh Market

  • 11/21: NAMI BIPOC Support Group

  • 11/24: Black, Trans & Queer: A Covid Conscious Support Group

  • 11/28: Race Forward: Governing for Racial Equity

  • 11/28: The Equity Consortium: Virtual Listening Circle

  • 11/29: Anima Leadership: Deep Diversity Audit Demo

  • 11/30: Culturally Rooted Approaches to Community Driven Planning

  • 11/30: Working with the Live Wire of Oppression Virtual Introduction

...and more!


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