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The Communities of Color Coalition (C3) provides speakers and trainings on issues affecting communities of color and other under-represented groups. Most recently, C3 hosted their largest annual event, the community-sponsored North Puget Sound Conference on Race April 20 in Everett.

This year’s conference theme, “School to Prison Pipeline: Breaking the Cycle” featured breakout workshops on health, education, culture, employment, housing, and restorative justice. Keynote speaker and University of Washington School of Social Work researcher, Robin DiAngelo, spoke to the contents of her bestselling book on white privilege and racism, White Fragility. The afternoon session featured speaker Aneelah Afzali, founder and Executive Director of the American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN) at the Muslim Association of the Puget Sound.

One breakout session offered was “We Rise: Building a Restorative Community”, an introduction to  the Restorative Justice movement and its applications in the city of Everett. The facilitators shared their own lived experiences  to illuminate their practices in using shared reflective mediation tools. Participants broke out into groups to discuss the following questions:

  • In what way might we inform community and city leaders of the challenges and opportunities to build resilience in the city?
  • Where are some places to start?  What does this look like?

Another breakout session, “Creating Communities of Educational Change” focused on turning plans and thoughts into action for community change. Marjorie James facilitated the workshop and shared her experience serving as the Curriculum and Engagement Manager in Tulalip Tribes Education as well as a Trustee for the Tulalip Foundation. After hearing Marjorie’s call to create communities for educational change, participants were asked to pair up and share key points about their work in the community. This interactive workshop challenged everyone to form a vision for the collective future of the school districts that serve us and our communities. Participants were encouraged to try and make at least one connection with someone in the room to carry community change forward and to continue to focus on making connections with community leaders who can catalyze change.

Offered free to interested participants, the conference had registration of over 700.  Check out photos from the event, as well as artwork created by youth at the Denney Juvenile Justice Center in Everett and Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie on C3’s website.