RE: Forks ad, addressing violence through education

Dear Editor,

On June 18, the greater Forks community, accomplished the goal we set out to with this action, the ad placements of a statement that reflected the views of the signatories, a statement that;

“The following individuals and businesses strongly oppose the intolerable treatment of the family visiting the Forks area on June 3, 2020. We pledge our support of a thorough investigation, and commit to addressing issues of racism and violence in our communities through education and communication.”

Together, our ads reached over 400,000 people with this message. It provided us with a vehicle to express our strong disapproval of the actions of June 3rd; to have the ability to make a difference; to show the nation the actions of a few do NOT represent the greater Forks area; to show the visitors from Spokane that the actions of a few do NOT represent the greater Forks area; to show the perpetrators of that criminal behavior that members of its own community, ACROSS the socio-political spectrum, do NOT approve of their actions.

The ripple effect has been profound and deeply meaningful. Former and current community members/businesses expressed disappointment that they didn’t know about this opportunity in time to add their name; tourists have stated that they will come support us, having seen our ads; others have commented how incredible it is that we could pull this off so quickly, with so much support. It’s because what we did was the right thing to do, for many.

But, it’s really just the start. An incredibly important start, awareness building, but a start.

So, while this campaign will end, the FB page will most likely end (we’ve achieved what we set out to do), the work continues. The commitment to address issues of racism and violence in our communities through education and communication, is the hard work. The “roll up your shirt sleeves and get to work” kind of hard work. But the good people of the greater Forks community have never shied away from hard work.

I have had MANY deeply meaningful experiences in my time as a resident of Forks, and this my Friends, is right there at the top. The list we have is nothing short of the beauty and integrity of the area and the human spirit.

If I were to continue with this work, I would envision a core group of folks that would lead the next steps; conservative and liberal; Native American, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asians, African Americans…..; LGBTQ; youth and elders; differing religious beliefs, or none; and more. Because without all of those voices, I believe we would have an incomplete process.

Keep collecting names, keep building momentum, keep reflecting back on the words you supported to guide you on.

And for those of you who are uncertain or fearful, you have an incredible list of local support to lean on. You are not alone. Look at the ad.

Michelle Diamond Simpson has offered to manage the remaining funds (into a savings account), and the FB page and the group email, until such time as the donors have decided how to continue this work. Thanks so much Michelle, and for your offer on 6/6 to help. Did you know what you were getting into? Great partner.

And Sara Ironhill, your vision…..whew.

You know, just the other day, I was reflecting on how organically this came together, and I pictured us all getting ready for an event; some preparing food, some entertaining the kids, some setting up canopies, some helping with parking, some splitting wood for the fire pit (okay, not splitting!?!?) everyone just helping where/how they could. All virtually. And we did it. Thank you. I thank you.

Stats to date;

433 members

321 names for the ad

35 business names for the ad

$6200 donated

Photo credit: Dave Youngberg

Ads placed;

Sunday Seattle Times

Spokane’s Inlander

Forks Forum

In peace,

Sandra K. Kint