A Week of Gathering
by Cecile Andrews, community member, guest writer
What an incredible week!
The week of January 21-January 28 was amazing. I was so proud of our community!
First it was a workshop I went to on the day after the big women’s march. We started with a role play: Our instructions were to protect the victims being deported— to hold up our arms and resist the police. After the role play we talked about how to handle civil disobedience.
This was just one of several workshops offered by all sorts of groups —— the Neighborhood Action Coalition, 350 Seattle, Indivisible Seattle, and on and on.
That was on January 21.
A week later, January 27, I was at the PNA annual meeting. There was a young woman from the city asking us to take part in a new venture — participatory budgeting! We filled out forms that asked if we had ideas about how to spend city money. I asked to have the libraries open til 9 so we could have more public meetings.
Participatory budgeting! What a great idea. Apparently the idea is spreading around the world!
Then on Sunday, Jan 28, I attended a presentation put on by people who had gone on a pilgrimage to the South* to visit many of the “sacred” civil rights places — Selma, where the great march happened, Montgomery where black people boycotted buses. It was part of an ongoing PNA program of studying white privilege: “Breaking White Silence” (For information, contact Cecily at [email protected].)
You can see why I was so excited. Not all of these events were put on by the PNA, but the point is that these workshops were being held at the PNA.
Maybe this sounds a little silly, but I really felt proud that we were having these events. Yes, the PNA focuses on events in Phinney Greenwood, yet here we were, focusing on international issues — creating local community while we responded to bigger issues.
I came away not only feeling proud, but feeling hopeful. I could see that people are concerned and anxious to get involved. The PNA is helping democracy thrive!
Cecile Andrews leads conversation groups for the PNA. She is the author of Circle of Simplicity and Living Room Revolution.
* Project Pilgrimage builds interracial and intergenerational community in Washington State and beyond by studying, understanding, and gaining inspiration from transformational movements and individuals, and then taking action. More information, including how to apply for a Pilgrimage, at projectpilgrimage.org.
Breaking White Silence and October 2017 Pilgrimage participants Karen Schneider and Mary Holscher were joined by panelists and October 2017 Pilgrim participants, Michael Abraha, Gary Kimura, Sharayah Lane and Devon Love.