Do not accept what is; confront it and move toward what should be. This page will present examples of what LWV-TC and other like-minded organizations are doing to move toward a truly diverse and inclusive community.
Hispanic Heritage Month -- September 15 - October 14, 2020
The idea for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated throughout the latter half of September and first half of October, began as a way to promote the history, culture and contributions of Hispanic-Americans. Specifically — those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Communities mark the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans with festivals and educational activities.
HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH TIMELINE
1988 Hispanic Heritage Month Established
Hispanic Heritage Week was first observed under President Lyndon Johnson, but it was Ronald Reagan who extended it to a month-long celebration.
1945 Brothers in arms
Over 300,000 Latinos enlisted in the American military and fought in World War II.
1845 Texas Became a U.S. State
Texas joined the union as the 28th state. Mexico had controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence..
1777 Fighting for Freedom
The Spanish governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Gálvez, joined General George Washington's fight against British soldiers and helped win independence.
Four in-five Latinos are U.S. citizens. As of 2018, about 80% of Latinos living in the country are U.S. citizens, up from 74% in 2010. This includes people born in the U.S. and its territories (including Puerto Rico), people born abroad to American parents and immigrants who have become naturalized citizens. Among the origin groups, virtually all Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. Spaniards (91%), Panamanians (89%) and Mexicans (80%) have some of the highest citizenship rates, while Hondurans (53%) and Venezuelans (51%) have the lowest rates.
WHY HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH IS IMPORTANT
- Strong impact on America
Hispanic influences are tightly knitted in the fabric of American life. Think music, food, art, cinema, politics, literature, and so much more.
- Around one-fifth of the U.S. population is Hispanic
The state with the largest Hispanic and Latino population overall is California with over 14 million. This represents a lot of voters.
- Our kids benefit
While Hispanic children learn about their roots this month, all kids can benefit from learning about Spanish history and culture.
HOW TO OBSERVE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
- Plan a fiesta
Tasty food, mariachi music, and sombreros for everyone!
- Involve the kids in fine arts
Light up young minds by educating them about Hispanic arts. Frida Kahlo’s paintings are a good start!
- Start learning Spanish
We all learned a little bit in school, so why not go all the way! Who knows where that might take you?
LWVUS Calls on Congress to Act on Institutional Violence Against Black Communities
LWVUS joins 189 organizations addressing Congressional leadership standing in solidarity with Black Women’s Reproductive Justice advocates to protect the bodily autonomy and reproductive rights of all people. The letter details how institutionalized violence has impacted Black women and women color. The letter calls for federal action to divest from the over policing of Black folks and invest resources into communities.
Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Opposes Executive Order
LWVUS 2020 Convention Adopts the following resolution
We Resolve First, That the League advocates against systemic racism in the justice system and, at a minimum, for preventing excessive force and brutality by law enforcement. We also call for prompt actions by all League members to advocate within every level of government to eradicate systemic racism, and the harm that it causes;
We Resolve Second, That the League help our elected officials and all Americans recognize these truths to be self-evident; that Black, Indigenous and all people of color (BIPOC) deserve equal protection under the law; and that we demand solutions for the terrible wrongs done, so that regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, and gender identity or sexual orientation we may truly become a nation "indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".
LWVUS Issues Statement on May 29, 2020 Addressing the police murder of George Floyd and violence against Black people everywhere.
The League of Women Voters grieves the murders of George Floyd and the countless other Black lives that have been tragically taken at the hands of rogue law enforcement officers who are rarely held fully accountable for their actions.
We also mourn those who have lost their lives or been harmed, mentally or physically, as a result of America’s pervasive culture of anti-blackness. The systems of oppression that have perpetuated the myth of white supremacy in our country must be dismantled if we are ever to become the nation we pledge to be—indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
As an organization whose mission is to empower voters and defend democracy, we stand in solidarity with all Black communities. The League shall do so not only by speaking out against racism in all forms, but by doing the work required of us to be anti-racist. We are committed to listening to and amplifying Black voices, and educating ourselves and our children on the historic and ongoing systemic racism that plagues this country.
The League acknowledges, painfully, that America is a nation founded on racism. Therefore, all who live in this country must contribute to and participate in organizations actively working to achieve full liberation and inclusive freedom. We must all advocate for anti-racist policies at every level of government.
We join the League of Women Voters of Minnesota in calling on law enforcement officials to provide transparency during this investigation, and to seek justice for George Floyd, his family, and his community.
Finally, we echo the call of our partners at the NAACP: we must all vote in November – the road to change lies at the ballot box.
LWV-Tacoma/Pierce County Letter to the Public: If not now, then when? June 1, 2020
Addressing the League's need to go beyond just talking Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion now. Click here to read the letter.
_October 2020 -- Newly Recommended Books:
Debby Irving, Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
Looking to learn more about race in America? UW professor emeritus Charles Johnson picks 4 books.
“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison
“The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” by James Weldon Johnson
“The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult” by Jerald Walker
“King: The Photobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Bob Adelman and Charles Johnson
And, your editor recommends "Middle Passage" by Charles Johnson.
Click here to read more about Dr. Johnson's recommendations.
Here are two books by David Treuer, Ojibwe, scholar and author, Ph.D., on faculty at Univ. of Southern California.
Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life (2012). A history of reservations including his own experience as Ojibwe on Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America From 1890 to the Present (2019). A remarkable history, something to read in small bites.
Here is a newly published book of interest: Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.
LET’S TALK ABOUT RACE BOOK GROUP
Rescheduling of actual group meetings will be done as soon as we are confident about the ability to meet in-person. But, reading is still a GO!
Remember, reading while cloistered is popular.
National Museum of African American History and Culture Releases “Talking About Race” Web Portal
Check out this website: https://nmaahc.si.edu/about/news/national-museum-african-american-history-and-culture-releases-talking-about-race-web?fbclid=IwAR1Pr5ytQ-lGmODYUTm2Q5GaBaVjv87jY0Il25vf67MK_36LJLxXZtLOBYs
Links to Other Sites That May Help With Talks About Race
Here is a link to an article interviewing Ibram X. Kendi about being an anti-racist and his book How to be an Antiracist.
IMMIGRATION RELATED MATERIAL
On July 21, 2020, the President signed a memorandum to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count when determining how many seats in Congress will be given to each state. The rule requires Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to provide data on undocumented immigrants so they can be subtracted from the numbers provided by the Census committee.
The memo is the latest attempt by the Administration to change the way the population is counted as regards immigrants. The Supreme Court previously rejected the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census on constitutional grounds. The ACLU and other groups are expected to oppose the memo for the same reason.
Upcoming Public Meeting to address Who is Allowed to Be an American? Supporting justice and fairness for our immigrant and refugee neighbors
The League of Women Voters of Thurston County (LWVTC) is sponsoring a community forum to address: Talks
- the latest threats faced by our immigrant and refugee neighbors,
- steps being taken locally and statewide to mitigate these threats, and
- actions we can take to support these efforts.
Co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Mason County, the Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance and other organizations focused on protecting the rights of immigrants and refugees, this forum supports the League’s positions on immigration as stated in Impact on Issues 2018-2020:
Speakers who have been invited:
- Rabbi Seth Goldstein from Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia with words of inspiration about his congregation’s commitment to “welcome the stranger.”
- Steffani Powell (practicing US Immigration Law in Olympia and member of Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance): a brief update on current issues and concerns e.g., restrictions on asylum applications, new “public charge” rules, and denaturalization efforts.
- Ximena Velazquez-Arenas (attorney drafting rules to implement Keep Washington Working legislation (SB 5497). SB 5497 requires the state Attorney General to develop model policies limiting immigration enforcement in public schools, health facilities and shelters to ensure safe access for immigrants in Washington State.
- Monserrat Padilla (director of 180 member Washington Immigration Support Network (WAISN): will provide an update on the WAISN legislative agenda including bills passed by the 2020 State Legislature.
For more information, please contact Karen Tvedt at email@example.com or 360-584-4526.
The LWVUS priority statement related to Immigration is: Immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families; market economic, business and employment needs; a nd be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises.
June 17, 2019 -- Second Annual Hispanic Rountable Community Summit
LWV-TC participated in this summit, as an Exhibitor, as well as audience members. It was especially fun to watch Amber Huffstickler as she did her graphic recording of the proceedings.
One of many take home messages was that fully understanding, and being able to meet organizational goals in, a Multi-Cultural America is an evolving process. It was suggested that it is important to have cultural awareness, gain in cultural competency, and enhance behavior with cultural humility. The lively discussions made it easy to start a list of barriers that need to be addressed as League works on our confronting inequity agenda: money, safe spaces for non-white voices to be heard, strong partnerships.
Having attended the Summit gave the three LWV-TC members who attended the opportunity to connect to the heart as well as the head. We heard from informative speakers about immigration policy and the history of Latinx people in the United States. We also heard the stories about how those policies hurt families, from the speakers and from individual attendees. It was an opportunity for members from the dominant culture to listen and witness. We learned a lot we can use to start a process of change.
During the 2018 Convention in Chicago, the National League of Women Voters(LWVUS) held several workshops to introduce their new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy: LWV is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice.
LWVWA Policy on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
LWV is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the organization’s current and future success in engaging all individuals, households, communities, and policy makers in creating a more perfect democracy.
We will actively work to remove barriers to full participation in this organization regardless of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, language, accent, ability status, mental health, educational level or background, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity.