Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Conversation Recap for September 16, 2007

Intros: A couple of new people today.

No story today

The Education Group presented case studies and we broke up into 2 groups where we read the cases and discussed the following questions:

What more does this parent/guardian need to know and be able to do?

How the “system” works
Allies who can help with knowledge and support
The system needs to be held accountable
Third party allies to put pressure on the issue and highlight the illegality of the situation
System has their legal department and teachers have their union but parents and student have no structure

How can the Conversation or its members be allies to parents/ of student in TPS?

Begin to collect the stories and tell them and advocate for systemic change
Question—how would that be structured?
We would have to create a structure, collect the stories in a way that protects the identity of the tellers, we would have to provide some method of demonstrating the “truth”
Question—are schools immune to CPS? Parents are held accountable when children are abused—why not school personnel?

Even without stories, could try to raise awareness in schools, like offer to facilitate assemblies & other group activities—like Leticia Nieto, posters a la crimethinc.org
Also help with teacher training/in-services
Pierce County Sexual Assault Center BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) accompany children to court. Maybe we could do something similar—be a crowd
Somehow institute listening partnerships between students
A good way to start—approach the school dist. “we have all these stories, obviously you have a problem and we can help with it." If not accepted, take stronger action

There used to be a PELT and a Family Involvement Center try to reconstitute? Offer as another part of the solution so the system knows why to value that effort.

How to let people know we are collecting stories?

Tina is on PTA and sends out newsletter
Get contact info for all PTA’s
“Safety Box” for students to put stories in

How do we deal with credibility—both students and parents feel safe in sharing and some way to triangulate the story so that we can verify the truth of the story?

There are people within the Conversation that do this kind of thing for a living who can help with the structure of story collecting so that they are properly vetted

Themes drawn from both cases:

Parental level of knowledge/education
Living situation instability
Intelligence, capability, resiliency

What can we do as the Conversation to act as allies?

Invite youth to come and express themselves creatively, musically, artistically or in writing. Invite the media

One member has attended 4 youth forums, videos made, stories told media would not come out. But there’s money out there to be applied for.

Another member suggested that at So’Just youth get the chance to tell their story/rap their story.

All agreed that it’s critically important that we take part in creating place and space for the empowered activity of youth to occur.

It was a very good discussion today. Need to ask ourselves how we move awareness into action.


Facilitators Training - Act Against Violence
$25 donation RSVP Catherine’s Place Sept 27-28 9am-3:30 and 9am-1pm
Dr. Dorothy Anderson, President of the Tacoma Urban League
Call 572-3547 for more information

PC AIDS Foundation has made 96k from its last AIDS Walk!

Parker Palmer event next Sunday, Eve can take 4 people in her car and will leave from the Conversation. Eve will be emailing those who signed up to confirm participation.

So’Just, Report: We are now getting organizations to have booths. Goal for funding is $3,000, we have $1,850 and need to get to $2,000 by tomorrow to proceed.

We have an offer of free solar power to power the equipment for sound by SolaRichard

School Board Action Committee Report: Already begun having an impact as school board members have mentioned a need for a structure for greater dialogue between school board and community. The organization is developing.

Next meeting is Thursday 20th @ 6PM at Colleen and Steve’s

Suggestion that each upcoming week’s topic be included on the blog

4022 N. 27th St. 6pm on Tues. Sept. 25th
Debate 21st @ King’s Books Debate on whether to get out of Iraq or not.

Steve & Kristi Nebel will play:

22nd 8pm @ Matrix Coffee House in Chehalis (Cool place--I went to college with the owner)

5th 7-9pm @ Rhapsody in Bloom

UFPPC’s fundraiser Salon Society 2nd Sunday Series—need a facilitator for a discussion on the works of Kurt Vonnegut

Wed. through Sat. Weekly Anti-War Vigils organized by UFPPC

Weds. 5-6pm @ Federal Courthouse on Pac Ave.
Thurs. noon-1pm @ Farmer’s Market on 9th & Broadway
Fri. 5-6pm @ Johnny’s Seafood on Ruston Way
Sat. 12:30-1:30pm @ 38th & Steele in front of Border’s Books

UFPPC meets at 1st Congregational on 1st and 3rd Thursdays @ 6:30 and 7pm respectively

Lyceum Lecture Series on Tuesdays @ Evergreen-Tacoma 10-11:30am and 6-7:30pm

Notable Speakers:

October 16
Mike Colson, Retired Navy Chaplain, Iraq war veteran - Topic: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

October 23
Maxine Hayes, Washington State Health Officer - Topic: Public Health

October 30
Suheir Hammad, poet and playwright, born in Amman, Jordan - Ms. Hammad is an internationally recognized author and performer

November 13
Fred Bonner, Seattle Municipal Court Judge - Topic: Youth Diversion Program

For other speakers see Events & Activities Calendar on Campus

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