FAN’s Annual Dinner – Sunday, November 10, 2019

Nearly 450 people warmed the Renton Pavilion on November 10, while 71 people gathered in Spokane for our second annual, simultaneous dinner. Duwamish Chair Cecile Hansen welcomed us to celebration on their ancestral lands, and Abbott Genjo Marinello of Choboji Zen Temple dedicated our time together with a Buddhist reflection. It was a night full of good spirit and connections! We are grateful to Rev. Priscilla Paris-Austin and travel author Rick Steves who shared their reflections with us on how to move our values forward. You can watch the program at

Pastor Priscilla, of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Seattle, spoke very personally about her ancestors and their struggles through colonization and triumphs in persevering: “And so by our inherent diversity, my family taught me that my personal interest is way too narrow of a lens to look at any issue. Voting was a right my people had fought to gain, and I best not take it lightly.” She said family in the broadest sense motivates her work for justice: “I do this work because of you, my family… Because of you I am encouraged in this work. I’m encouraged to know that I’m not in it alone. To know there are others who believe that love is the thing that conquers all.” And she closed singing Carole King’s song “One.” We are so grateful.

Rick Steves reflected on his recent travels: “There are so many problems that emanate from economic injustice… We’ve got a system that celebrates greed. We’ve got structural poverty. And we’ve got courageous people speaking out against that, in Olympia and in Washington DC.” He encouraged the crowd once again that the answer is in advocacy: “I know that Faith Action Network understands our values. They’re experts at this, and they go to bat for us in Olympia. That to me is a service. This room is filled with love. We care, we give, we change the world together. And Faith Action Network gives our work traction. It’s a way to scale up our love–Political Love 201.”

We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the hundreds of you who donated in generous amounts large and small to help us meet and exceed Rick’s $50,000 matching challenge! You helped DOUBLE our effectiveness. Final tallies are still being totaled, but we know the contributions and pledges made that night in Renton, Spokane and online exceed $65,000! We are humbled and grateful to you.

We were honored to highlight the witness and commitment to justice exemplified by our awardees:

  • Legacy Award to Tony Lee, for decades of leading and mentoring for advocacy in Olympia and beyond.
  • Justice Leadership Award to Rev. Harriett Walden for persevering for police accountability.
  • Advocating Faith Community Award to Seattle First Baptist, for 150 years of leading for justice.
  • In Spokane, Interfaith Leadership Award to Rev. Gen Heywood and the Faith Leaders & Leaders of Conscience (FLLC) group for their work against white supremacy and hate crimes in Spokane area.
  • In Spokane, Justice Leadership Award to the Yakima Immigrant Response Network (YIRN) for public witness to ICE deportation/detention flights and letting immigrants know they are not alone.

Jim CastroLang, our host in Spokane & FAN board member, presenting the awards
to Danielle Surkatty 
and Mick Nelson on behalf of the Yakima Immigrant Response Network (YIRN)
and Rev. Gen Heywood for Faith Leaders & Leaders of Conscience (FLLC).

In Renton, our awardees Rev. Harriett Walden, Seattle First Baptist team Rev. Dr. Patricia Hunter
and Rev. Dr. Tim Phillips, and emcees Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick and Aneelah Afzali, enlivened our evening!

With joy from Renton to Spokane and all the communities in between, we wish you blessings and thanksgiving for this season. We look forward to making a difference with you in the vital work ahead!

With deep gratitude from Faith Action Network Staff & Governing Board!

Thank you to all of our sponsors!

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                                                 Mark and Mary Hillman


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                Universal Life Church


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