Inland Northwest resources to help you fight racism

Racial And Social Justice
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — With so much going on across America and here in the Inland Northwest, you may be wondering how you can help fight racism.

Leaders and activists at Spokane’s Carl Maxey Center offered recommendations and resources for how you can make a difference.

Get involved with the Carl Maxey Center

Carl Maxey was a civil rights leader and Spokane’s first black attorney. The center named after him is run by a dedicated team that focuses on racial/social justice and equity, business and workforce development, education and advocacy, as well as cultural enrichment.

The Carl Maxey Center offers a variety of programs and events, including film screenings, workshops and the Black Business Expo. The center also has a wide array of volunteer opportunities.

Learn more by visiting the center’s website.

Subscribe to the Black Lens

“The Black Lens” is an independent community newspaper that focuses on news, events, people, issues and information of importance to the African American community. Editor Sandra Williams is an activist, lecturer, filmmaker and entrepreneur who addresses discrimination, equity and social justice.

Click here to subscribe and learn more. 

Spokane Community Against Racism

SCAR is a group that identifies and addresses racial disparities through community efforts, education, advocacy, research, community engagement, impacting policy and challenging existing organizations and structures. The group meets quarterly at the Morning Star Baptist Church, but frequently attends SRLJC, City Council and police ombudsman meetings.

Learn more about SCAR here.

Racial Equity Committee

The Racial Equity Committee meets monthly to develop action plans to address the disproportionate impact on people of color within the regional criminal justice system.

The committee meets on the first Thursday of each month and holds community meetings quarterly.

Learn more here. 

Spokane NAACP

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People seeks to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. The NAACP has multiple objectives, including achieving equality of rights and eliminating race prejudice, educating people about their constitutional rights, engaging youth, removing barriers of racial discrimination through voting and political representation, as well as enforcement of laws securing civil rights.

The Spokane chapter meets every third Monday of the month at 7 p.m.

Learn about joining the chapter here.

Spokane Regional Law and Justice Council

The Spokane Regional Law and Justice Council analyzes and offers recommendations to local jurisdictions on issues related to promoting a racially equitable and cost-effective regional criminal justice system. The committee seeks to build a healthy and safe community by reducing recidivism and increasing system collaboration.

Learn more about the SRLJC here.

Attend a City Council meeting

Leaders at the Carl Maxey Center encourage people to have their voices heard by attending a Spokane City Council meeting. The SCC meets on Mondays at 6 p.m. Meetings include the opportunity for public testimony.

Learn more about meetings and read council agendas here.

Attend a Spokane Public School Board Meeting

Local activists also recommend attending a Spokane Public School Board meeting. The school board’s schedule can be found here.

SPS’s Superintendent also has a list of workgroups, including the Racial Equity Workgroup.

Get involved with Smart Justice Spokane

Smart Justice Spokane is a coalition of more than 30 organizations that work to end mass incarceration and eliminate racial disparities in the local criminal justice system. SJS also works to help those in the criminal justice system through recovering and reintegrating into the community.

Learn more here. 

Get involved with the Peace and Justice League of Spokane

The Peace and Justice League of Spokane works to build a just and nonviolent world through community organizing and leadership development for human rights, economic justice and peace. PJALS has a “Showing Up for Racial Justice” committee that works closely with communities oppressed by racism. The committee works to end mass incarceration and end racial disparities in the local criminal justice system by holding law enforcement accountable. The committee meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

PJALS also offers a racial equity book study.

Learn more about PJALS here.

Attend a lecture, conference or training

Organizations and universities across Spokane offer a variety of lectures, conferences and trainings that address race and social justice.

Gonzaga University’s Institute for Hate Studies frequently holds public lectures and participates in conferences. Whitworth University also has a Cultural Studies program.

Greater Spokane Progress offers a “Why Race Matters” workshop to regional organizations and institutions. The workshop addresses racial inequities that have been built into institutions and structures, why it is important to use a racial equity lens and what can be done to advance racial equity.

Excelerate Success offers equity learning opportunities that intend to teach about leading with an intersectional racial equity lens.