We celebrate with you the success of our first virtual Annual Dinner on November 15! People from FAN faith communities and individuals in all corners of Washington rose up to join us! We celebrated that YOU alongside so many others were our Award Winners this year: In the face of multiple pandemics, you have risen up to be community in new ways, take care of neighbors, build mutual aid efforts, non-violently vigil/march/rally for Black Lives, stand with essential workers who provide healthcare and harvest our food, vote your values, and more. Together with you and our sponsors, adding in some checks that have come in this week, we met our goal, raising $132,722 for the work ahead! You can watch the full program at our YouTube channel: bit.ly/WatchFANDinner2020. And the giving link is still open until 11/30 if you missed being part of it at bit.ly/DONATETOFAN.

Please see our photo slideshow of Awardees – the FAN Roll Call for images of those of you who joined us – gathered in over 20 pre-event Zoom parties, and we know there are others of you not pictured: From nearly 50 gathered at the Spokane Big Table (where they had guest speakers, see video here), to those in Central WA gathered by Islamic Center of the Tri-Cities and Shalom UCC Richland, to friends gathered in Southwest WA by Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver, we thank you. Statewide, the Economic Justice Working Group hosted people with a shared passion for economic justice, and got some business done! Traveling north to Pierce County, United Church in University Place, Immanuel Presbyterian and St. Leo’s Catholic gathered friends. Further north in Snohomish County, Trinity Lutheran Everett, the Everett/Whidbey group, and Cedar Cross United Methodist hosted pre-event celebrations. In Kitsap County, Bethany Lutheran gathered Bainbridge Island advocates. And in the Seattle area, we were joined by faithful friends including Congregation Beth Shalom, Temple Beth Am, Kol HaNeshamah Synagogue, a super-ELCA table hosted by Immanuel Lutheran, Chobo-ji Zen community, St Mary’s Catholic Church, Emmanuel Episcopal Mercer Island, Seattle First Baptist with Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue, and Trinity United Methodist Seattle. We were even joined by supporters in California, Oregon, Kentucky, and South Carolina! We are a NETWORK, and we give thanks for you.

Rick Steves brought his words of encouragement for our shared mission to create a more just and equitable world, reminding us “FAN gives our love traction.” WA State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna shared inspiring poetry, and the Courage Ensemble featuring soloist Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown of Plymouth Church, Seattle Peace Chorus and Temple De Hirsch Sinai lifted us up with music. Faith leaders and FAN staff and board members spoke to the ways people and communities will continue to RISE UP TOGETHER to rebuild our democracy, repair divisions, resist systemic racism, and refocus on economic and environmental justice. We are grateful to our partners at Synchronicity Events and Michael B. Maine studio for helping us transform the connection of our Renton and Spokane dinners into a virtual event.

We conclude with some beautiful words of our Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna, that she shared at our virtual event:

Autumn Thanks

…If we in our days, put a fraction

of what bird puts into her song

we may yet reap a future

when injustice and war are the moraine

of our present, bitter, epoch.

We are gathered here today.

Thank you to our Sponsors!