Organization: King County Training
Location: King County Elections, 919 Southwest Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057
The training consists of a presentation of stories on racism. The stories are written by King County employees of color and performed by local poets and performance artists. The stories set the stage for a facilitated discussion on racism in the spirit of the county’s Equity and Social Justice Initiative which leads with racial justice. While the stories testify to the damage that racism inflicts on individuals and society, the discussion is a means to actively acknowledge it, interrogate its origins, and attempt to dismantle it.
The stories were solicited by the Untold Story Project team, which consists of WTD and SWD staff. The stories were arranged for presentation by local literary artist Jekeva Phillips who also selected the performers from the local artist community. The discussion will be led by interdisciplinary artist and workshop trainer Natasha Marin.
The performance and discussion have several objectives:
- The stories will validate that racism is not a thing of the past or something imagined, but that it is real and present.
- The performances will make the stories come alive. Words on the page carry power, but words spoken aloud can have a deeper, more visceral impact which can open the way to empathy and productive discussion.
- The performance and discussion will inspire the audience to not just think about racism but to take some sort of action to help dismantle it.
Instructor biography and past experience
Natasha Marin will facilitate the discussion on racism based on the stories written by King County employees of color for the Untold Story Project. Natasha Marin is a poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her written work has been published in periodicals such as the Feminist Studies Journal, African American Review, and the Caribbean Writer, translated into several languages, and showcased in exhibitions, performances and events around the world. She is also a communications consultant and trainer.
Jekeva Phillips curated the stories and selected performers to present them. She is a writer, author, and storyteller. She started the quarterly publication Word Lit Zine to highlight and build community for young and new writers. She also runs Bibliophilia, a hybrid storytelling festival she founded in association with the zine. Her poetry chapbook came out in 2016 and she’s writing a novel.
For any questions, contact Donna Miscolta at Donna.Miscolta@kingcounty.gov or Julia Yen at Julia.Yen@kingcounty.gov