June 26, 2020

Skai Johnson & Eve Smason

StandSpeakListen hosts Independence Day Event in Bellingham Washington

July 4th 2020, 4pm-10pm, StandSpeakListen(SSL) will host a black-led, community organized, public display of civil unrest starting at Bellingham's City Hall. Through the arts, SSL invites the community to come together to hear and celebrate voices of color this Independence Day.

We invite you to stand with us. We invite you to speak with us. We invite you to listen with us. Please be advised that if you are to come with a conscious mind, it must be a sober one. By standing with us as we promote community dialogue and action in response to racial and social injustices in Whatcom, Skagit, and beyond, YOU are agreeing to become part of the solution.

Standspeaklisten Skai Johnson Krisina Michele Ebony

StandSpeakListen is a collective of local artists, students, business people and activists who support anti-racist ideologies and community growth through demonstration, art and intentional connection. We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and are working towards making safe spaces for black lives and all of those in our community facing oppression. Our executive board is comprised of Black leadership, while our volunteer base, committees, and board at large welcome all allies.

“We listen so that we may learn. We learn so that we may teach. We teach so that we may all move forward together,” says founder Ebony. “It is not enough to say that there is a problem. We also have to offer comprehensive solutions.” Our aim is to create a constructive space for uncomfortable conversations. We recognize that all walks of life are different. We understand that we do not all share the same opinions, and we see these differences as an opportunity to learn so long as the intent is not rooted in hate.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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