Community Conversations

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Community Conversations is a series of programs hosted by the City of Mercer Island and developed by One MI and Do the Work MI, two community groups focused on advancing inclusivity and supporting families of color on Mercer Island. The series is provided with the intention of increasing awareness of issues of racism and inequity, sharing real-life experiences, providing tools & resources, and promoting the value of a diverse Mercer Island community.

The format of each session may include group discussion, engagement activities, and hard-copy materials provided to participants. Sessions will be provided through the Zoom virtual platform and potentially at in-person events as COVID-19 protocols and guidance allow.

Visit this page for event dates and materials from this important community program.

Community Conversations is a series of programs hosted by the City of Mercer Island and developed by One MI and Do the Work MI, two community groups focused on advancing inclusivity and supporting families of color on Mercer Island. The series is provided with the intention of increasing awareness of issues of racism and inequity, sharing real-life experiences, providing tools & resources, and promoting the value of a diverse Mercer Island community.

The format of each session may include group discussion, engagement activities, and hard-copy materials provided to participants. Sessions will be provided through the Zoom virtual platform and potentially at in-person events as COVID-19 protocols and guidance allow.

Visit this page for event dates and materials from this important community program.

  • Fall sessions in the Community Conversations series

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    The remaining sessions in the Community Conversations have been finalized! Please see the articles below for more information and to sign up to attend.

  • October 24, 2022: How to Be an Ally (Teens)

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    Please join us for an interactive training to learn tips and strategies on how to deal with racism and harassment in the real world. Participants will gain an understanding of what harassment is, how it’s different than bullying, and that it can happen anywhere – at school or on campus, on playgrounds, buses, or in stores and other places of business. We’ll talk through five strategies for intervention – Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct – and teach participants how to prioritize their own safety while offering support. This training is meant for youth grades 8 - 12.

    Monday, October 24, 6:30-7:30pm.

    Register for this online session here.

  • October 26, 2022: How to be an Ally (Adults)

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    We all have a responsibility to do something when we see street harassment happening, but too often we freeze. We don’t know what to do. Learning how to be an ally in the face of harassment gives us tools to intervene without compromising our own safety. When we intervene, we don’t just reduce trauma for the person being harassed. We also start to chip away at the culture that allows harassment to be so prevalent. Alone we can’t shift the culture — but together — our actions matter. In this training, our goal is to give participants the tools to safely and confidently intervene the next time they witness harassment in public spaces. This session is geared toward adults.

    Wednesday, October 26, 6:30-8:00pm.

    Please register for this online session here.

  • November 7, 2022: Disability as a Strength

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    Mercer Island resident and Microsoft's Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie will lead a discussion on how diversity and the inclusion of people with disabilities enrich our communities, workplaces, and lives. Held in-person at City Hall and streamed live online.

    Monday, November 7, 6:30-7:30pm.

    Register to attend in-person here.

    Register to attend live online here.

    Update: View the recording of this session here.

  • December 8, 2022: Mitigating Implicit Bias

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    Everyone holds implicit biases. That doesn’t make us “bad people,” it just means that we have work to do. This interactive training will teach you how to understand your own implicit biases in order to begin to undo them. We’ll start by learning the brain science behind implicit bias and how the part of our brain that is hardwired to assess danger has evolved to hold us back. Through polls, brief thought experiments, and writing exercises, we’ll reflect on how implicit bias can show up in our actions and they can have on ourselves and those around us.

    Thursday, December 8, 6:30-8:00PM

    Register for this online session here.

  • June 5, 2022: Oral History Family Interview Workshop

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    This interactive program is presented in partnership by ONE MI, Do the Work MI, the SJCC, Mercer Island Historical Society and the Washington State Jewish Historical Society.

    The stories of our family and the experiences of our elders shape how we see ourselves and how we experience the world. In this workshop we will talk about how oral history interviewing is different from other types of conversations, strategies for conducting rich and effective interviews, and best practices on recording and archiving oral histories.

    This workshop will be taught by Robin Li. Robin is a former director of the Advanced Oral History Summer Institute at the University of California, Berkeley Oral History Center. She has also worked as a research historian on projects such as the Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park and a UW Women's Center project documenting Asian American women activists in Seattle. She currently works with Voices in Contemporary Art teaching oral history methodology to contemporary art curators and conservators and is at work on an oral history how-to manual/theory of memory with the working title, "How We Remember & Other Stories." She received her B.A. from Vassar College and a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

    The event is free, and will be held at the Stroum Jewish Community Center from 1-3 PM. This workshop will include paired interview exercises, so please be prepared to meet some new neighbors!

    Register in advance here.

    View the presentation here.

  • May 25, 2022: Intergenerational Conversations: A Roundtable with Asian American Islanders

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    ONE MI, Do The Work MI and the Mercer Island High School's Education Coalition for Asian American Representation (ECAAR) present an Intergenerational Conversation with Asian Americans of Mercer Island, moderated by Islander Maggie Tai Tucker.

    Maggie Tai Tucker is an occupational therapist who is currently enrolled in the MSW (master's of social work) program at Fordham University. Maggie Tai has an MOT degree and undergraduate degrees in U.S. history/literature and zoology. In her professional capacity, Maggie Tai strives to help clients find their unique voice and use it to explore the meanings they place on their and their family's experiences. She has been a community organizer and volunteer for more than 20 years, the last 10 of them on Mercer Island. Maggie Tai is in her third year serving on the Mercer Island School Board.

    This intergenerational conversation will explore differing perceptions around academic achievement, body image and social norms; roundtable participants come from the diverse Asian American community of Mercer Island. This is the second event sponsored by the City of Mercer Island's Community Conversations on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

    Please join us from 7-9pm at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center (register for free here) or online via Zoom (register here).

    Update: If you missed the discussion but would like to view it, you can find the recording here.

  • February 2, 2022: Towards Inclusive Community

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    The MIHS Black Student Union Presents: Towards Inclusive Community. A conversation about the history of segregation and racial covenants on Mercer Island and steps we can take to build more inclusive neighborhoods.

    • Find the recording of the program here.
    • More information from the University of Washington's Racial Restrictive Covenants Project can be found here.

    Interested in volunteering with the UW Covenants Project? Find out more about how you can help here.

  • Community Conversations Program Series

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    At the August 4, 2020 City Council meeting (see AB5738), the Council adopted a goals statement with regard to the proposed community listening sessions, which included the intention for those sessions to guide future community actions around race, racism, diversity, and inclusion.

    In August of 2021, the Mayor and City Manager connected with ONE MI and Do the Work MI to discuss their interest in collaborating with the City on an event series to engage the community on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion on Mercer Island. Members of ONE MI and Do the Work MI expressed an interest in partnering and supporting this work.

    In November of 2021, the City Council voted to set aside funds to collaborate with ONE MI and Do the Work MI to plan and present the Community Conversation series throughout 2022 (see AB5956).

Page last updated: 28 Nov 2022, 02:15 PM