Confronting Racism

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.


LWV TC Let’s Talk About Race Book Group is a GO!

Thanks to everyone who expressed an interest in being part of a League book group focused on “Let’s Talk About Race.”  We will be obtaining our books, and conducting our sessions, via the Page Tuners Book Club Kits. Our first read will be The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, in case you want read along, even if you are not in a group.

We received enough responses that we have a full group for our first meeting, which will be on Wednesday, February 19, from 2:00 – 4:30 pm, at the Lacey Timberline Library.

There will be a second group meeting on Thursday, February 20, 5:30 – 7:00 pm, at 123 4th Ave W, Olympia.  There is still plenty of room in this group.  Contact Peggy Smith, at (360) 754-4305, or if you’d like to join.

This book group business is new to both group facilitators, Shelley Ferer and Peggy Smith.  Rest assured this is an ‘in process” undertaking.  If our initial schedule for group meetings does not fit for you, look for additions or adjustments that might.  We will be keeping you informed on what we are reading.



Thurston County Policies Intended to Prevent Courtroom Arrests by ICE

As reported by Sara Gentzler in The Olympian on December 13, 2019, Thurston County courts have adopted policies in response to an arrest made by plainclothes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in June.  The new court policies were adopted on November 1st for use until the state Attorney General’s Office publishes model policies in May 2020 (as required by the Keep Washington Working Act, which was supported by LWVWA and passed in 2019). The model policies intend to limit “immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible consistent with federal and state law at public schools, health facilities…courthouses and shelters, to ensure they remain safe and accessible to all Washington residents, regardless of immigration or citizenship status.”  

Thurston County’s interim policy requires armed law enforcement officers to tell courthouse security if they’re on official or personal business. If personal business, their weapons will be properly secured before they enter the courthouse. If they intend to make an arrest, the court’s “expectation policy” stipulates that no arrests shall happen in any of the courtrooms unless “directly ordered by the judicial officer presiding” and that “arrests shall be discouraged” in county courthouses unless “public safety is at immediate risk.”  Other provisions relate to courthouse security officers not initiating such arrests as well as communication.  Members of the local Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance proposed broader restrictions and criticize the interim policy as narrow, focusing only on what happens inside a courtroom (the June arrest by ICE happened outside a courtroom). 


LWVUS Position

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. 

    The current Immigration System is far from meeting our expectations. In transition to a reformed system, the League supports provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status.
    The League supports federal payments to impacted communities to address the financial costs borne by states and local governments with large immigrant populations.  
    The League also opposed the Securing America’s Future Act of 2018, which would have put immigrant youth at risk of deportation and opposed actions at our borders to separate children from their families at the border and funding a wall at our southern border. During the 2018 Convention in Chicago, IL, League members marched in support of immigrants and families while protesting this and other pieces of related legislation. The League also opposed the Trump Administrations “Public Charge Rule,” which directed immigration officials to limit the entrance of immigrants who they deemed would become: more dependent on government funding” to meet their basic human needs.
    Because of a request made in 2016, the League clarified part of its position on immigration “to mean that simple illegal re-entry is not considered a ‘serious crime’ for League advocacy purposes.”
   In the 115th Congress (2017-2019), the League opposed the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy by the Trump Administration. In response, the League again advocated for passage of a clean DREAM Act in Congress. The LWVUS Lobby Corps lobbied both the House and the Senate on this issue.

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.


Racial Inequity Reading and Media References of Interest

Joy Harjo was recently appointed as U.S. poet laureate.   She is the first Native American to be so named.  In her appointment address, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said that Harjo helped tell an "American story" of traditions both lost and maintained, of "reckoning and myth-making."  Learn more about this distinguished American here.  

 How to be an Antiracist   a book by Ibram X. Kendi

A TED talk given by Cori Wong is about 15 minutes long, on the topic of “Feminist Friendship” find (an approach she views as a necessary prerequisite to authentic connection / interpersonal learning). 

If you’d prefer something shorter, here is a 7 minute piece that helps provide some framing to getting prepared to engage at an individual level.

A TED talk given by Titus Kaphar asks, "Can art amend history?"

A two-part PBS documentary is a review of the Reconstruction period in our history, covering both its modest successes and its failures.   Click here to find out more about Reconstruction: America After the Civil War


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.

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