2014  – “Acting on the Dream: The Movement Continues

Nearly 450 guests gathered by candlelight at the Renton Pavilion Sunday night, November 16, 2014 to celebrate FAN’s victories over the past year and to gather strength for the work ahead. JazzED combo Sharp 5 entertained guests during social hour. FAN Governing Board Co-Chairs Rev. Carol Jensen and Rev. Rich Gamble welcomed the audience, and KCTS public television host Enrique Cerna presided graciously as master of ceremonies. Rose Wallace-Croone sang resounding blessings over the crowd, followed by an invocation from Temple Beth Am Assistant Rabbi Jason Levine. Rick Steves inspired the audience with reflections on the importance of policy advocacy toward building the kind of communities in which we want to live. We will share portions of the video of his talk in the weeks ahead.

We thank all who supported our FAN the Flames fundraising, which met and exceeded Rick Steves’ generous challenge grant of $20,000! Support from our sponsors, table hosts, guests, and those who supported from afar will empower our work into 2015. You all are so generous and committed—you give us hope!

FAN’s annual awards were given to inspiring advocates in four categories:

Diane Baer & Temple Beth Am, Advocating Faith Leader & Faith Community Award

We honored Diane’s exemplary efforts as FAN liaison as she has invited and encouraged Temple Beth Am members to participate in advocacy. We also honored the clergy, past and present, and Temple Beth Am community for their active engagement in our partnership for the common good. Temple Beth Am was the first Jewish congregation to join FAN in 2012, and has been with us throughout this busy year: during Interfaith Advocacy Day and Spring Summits, hosting our largest Cluster Gathering, attending meetings with legislators, and marching for the passage of I-594. We are grateful for their active participation in our Network of Advocating Faith Communities!

Cheryl Stumbo, Special Recognition Award

The Annual Dinner committee unanimously chose to acknowledge Cheryl Stumbo as citizen filer of Initiative 594 for her courageous, cheerful, and inspiring leadership for the successful passage of 594. Cheryl has turned her survival of the Jewish Federation shooting into a commitment for prevention of gun violence and so much more—working tirelessly on behalf of Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility and Everytown for Gun Safety, calling voters at phone banks through Election Day. We stand for her in gratitude and with her in solidarity for safety and justice for all!

Larry Lowther, Justice Leadership Award

Larry serves as liaison to FAN for First United Methodist Church in Ellensburg. He helped organize an ecumenical social justice breakfast group, consisting of United Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Unitarian Universalist members who meet monthly to exchange ideas and support social justice projects. Larry has been involved in social justice issues since coming to Ellensburg in 1965 to teach history at Central Washington University, working first on civil rights and poverty, then helping to lead a human rights coalition, and more recently single payer health care, gun responsibility, abolishing the death penalty, and climate change. Larry inspires other people to work for justice!

Senator Bob Hasegawa, Jamila Farole, & Faisa Farole, Interfaith Leadership Award

We applauded 11th District State Senator Bob Hasegawa; Jamila Farole, MSW and Community Health Promoter at Mercy Housing NW; and her sister Faisa Farole, co-founder of Somali Maternity Services. Together with many advocates in the community they introduced and championed the Holiday Bill during the 2014 legislative session. This bipartisan bill provides state employees and students with two unpaid leave days for reason of faith or conscience and will have a tangible impact on the lives of families of all faiths who can now legally take time off for their own religious holidays. We also honor their exceptional efforts in bringing together people of many faith traditions and cultures in June to festively celebrate this victory with prayer, music, dancing, and food. While Jamila and Faisa couldn’t be there Sunday night because they were attending a conference, their father Abukar Yarow and Jamila’s husband Bashir Roble accepted the awards for them. Velma Veloria read Jamila’s words of thanks. We think this is interfaith collaboration at work to make systemic change!

View photos and video footage from the Annual Dinner.

Thank you to our sponsors who help bring us together for this celebration:

Catalysts for Change ($5,000):

  • Rick Steve’s Europe
  • UFCW 21

Advocates for Justice ($2,500):

  • Pacific Northwest Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
  • Washington Education Association

Messengers of Hope ($1,000):

  • Episcopal Diocese of Olympia
  • Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches
  • SEIU Healthcare, Local 775
  • SEIU Washington State Council
  • Thread Fund

Movement Builders ($500):

  • ACLU of Washington
  • Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge No. 751
  • AFSCME/WFSE Council 28
  • Carey & Lillevik PLLC Attorneys At Law
  • Rev. Carol Jensen & Ron Young
  • Compass Housing Alliance
  • Rev. Rich Gamble and Keystone UCC
  • Teamsters Local Union No. 117
  • Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Thanks also to the 30 Dream Sharers who are hosting tables to make our celebration possible!