June 9, 2022

RSJ Spotlight: Esteban Herevia

Racial & Social Justice Partner Spotlight Series

Each month we will be spotlighting an organization or individual in our community who is putting in the work to create real and lasting change for a more equitable Spokane.

Our Racial & Social Justice Partner Spotlight this June is Esteban Herevia and Spokane Pride.


Every June, communities around the world gather to celebrate and memorialize the movement for LGBTQ+ visibility and rights or what we now know to be as Pride Month. What started as a protest in New York City in the summer of 1968 has now evolved into people taking to the streets of their hometowns lifting up the very people in their own communities who need the visibility most. You will find it to be true here in Spokane.

In June of 1992, Marion Hammer, Helen Bonser, and a group of folks called PFLAG, the Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays, decided it was time to gather the Spokane community in Pride and walk the streets of downtown Spokane. They understood our LGBTQ+ community needed the opportunity to be seen, valued, and heard in a BIG way. Little did they know, their work would carry us through today, where we celebrate 30 years of Pride in Spokane this June.

Pride In Spokane Today

The motivations remain the same to this day. While our city and region continues to grow, we understand this area to be tough for LGBTQ+ people to navigate. From pockets of the city where conservatives values may be present to politicians who vocalize their opposition for the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights, Spokane can feel unwelcoming for some. For some students, the reality of bullying and intimidation are a daily reality they must fight against. And for others, basic daily needs, like food, shelter, and a sense of safety are barely met because of the exclusion they experience. When we say Pride still matters today, these are the very reasons why.

For many, Pride in Spokane is the one chance they get to be seen for who they truly are. It may be the one day where they can express their identity or feel a sense of belonging. It may also be the one day they get the chance to hear they are loved, valued, and accepted. And we do not take the opportunity for granted.

Spokane Pride’s theme this year is: Reimagine. COVID unveiled a number of inequities that directly impacted the LGBTQ+ community. Our community experienced disparities in care and for some denial because of their identity. We experienced the greatest social movement of our time, calling for the reformation of our systems of power and the amplification of a dual pandemic: racism.

As an organization, we experienced major changes in our structure and ability to serve the community. As we consider all of this momentum and shifting and the need for the re-construction of belonging for ALL people, we understand our response to be to reimagine our future so that all have the ability to thrive and be valued and fully seen. Spokane Pride is one mechanism in the movement for change.

So, this June, while you may see a big party, we encourage you to look deeper and see pathways for people to have the opportunity to be fully valued and fully present. We encourage you to join us in the movement of reimagining who we can be and who we want to be – together.

Join Us For The Pride Parade & Festival!

The Spokane Pride Parade and Festival will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in downtown Spokane. For more information, visit spokanepride.org and follow @spokanepride on Facebook and Instagram. Participating, volunteering, or giving to Spokane Pride are all ways you can support the movement of Pride in Spokane.

CHECK OUT SPOKANE PRIDE

Attend Our Pathways Forward Event!

This virtual discussion centered on myths about domestic violence and the LGBT+ community will feature Esteban Herevia, Jr., Lacrecia “Lu” Hill, and Brit Wilson as panelists. Join us on June 15th at noon for this free, virtual event.

REGISTER FOR PATHWAYS


YWCA Spokane’s Racial & Social Justice Committee

Our vision is to strive to be a consistently accurate resource for information on racial, ethnic, and cultural awareness to promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity in employment, in business practices, and in the care and services provided throughout the communities we serve.  For 2022, the RSJ Committee is focusing on

  • Community Partnerships
    • Enhance outreach efforts to community partners and liaisons to share ideas, support each other with action, and solidify connections. View the list of our RSJ Partners.
  • Events
    • Develop and host or co-host events to connect various groups of community members to share and understand each other’s stories. Events include movie nights, Stand Against Racism, equity & growth Challenge, and Transformations Camp for youth.
  • Education & Training
    • Provide training to YWCA staff, board of directors, mission partners and the community to allow awareness of subconscious thoughts or attitudes that affect our perceptions about people, the decisions we make, and the impact on our community.

Join the conversation with our Facebook Group and learn more about our RSJ Committee here.

CHECK OUT OUR PREVIOUS SPOTLIGHTS

If you or someone you know should have their advocacy work highlighted through our RSJ Spotlight series, please email our equity coordinator, larae@ywcaspokane.org.

By: Esteban Herevia

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