Facing Forward: Essential Workers, Essential Stories
Thursday, June 2 | 12 pm
Via Zoom

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center and Civic Commons continues “Facing Forward,” a virtual series that highlights our exhibit “Enduring COVID-19: Stories from our Transforming World.” This event will feature essential workers, as they share stories and insights about how they are helping to meet the needs of their communities during the pandemic.

For far too long, it was easy to overlook the roles essential workers play in daily life. But when the Covid pandemic hit, we saw the importance not only of medical professionals but grocery-store employees, daycare providers, and bus drivers. Join us for a virtual conversation with essential workers as we hear how they managed being on the frontlines of a crisis that upended their own lives, as well as the lives of their customers, clients and passengers.This discussion will be moderated by local storyteller Rosette Royale (he/she/they).

Speakers include: Jaimée Marsh (they/she), executive director, FEEST, Lois Martin (she/her), director, Community Day Center for Children, and Shawn Thurman (he/him), registered nurse, Seattle Indian Health Board

Speaker Bios

Jaimée Marsh (they/she)
Executive Director, [email protected]

Jaimée found their happy place at FEEST — the place where joy, community, justice, and cheese intersect! They first tasted FEEST’s irresistible “Special Sauce” at Make Food Make Fam in 2017.  Since then, they transformed from volunteer to Board Member to Executive Director. Jaimée is a Seattle transplant from Spokane, WA, who specializes in community organizing, organizational leadership and development, and participatory evaluation methods. For over 15 years, they have applied this skillset to build community and shift power, particularly with trans and queer people of color. Jaimée is passionate about cultivating creative spaces that center radical joy and healing, and fostering sustained partnerships between schools and the community at large. Jaimée describes their most salient identities as black, multiracial, adopted, queer, and gender fluid. They are also a first-generation graduate of the University of Michigan (MSW) and University of Washington (BASW) Schools of Social Work. In their personal life, Jaimée is a curious home cook, a travel enthusiast, a decent iPhone photographer, and a former athlete turned fierce recreational sports competitor.

Lois Martin (she/her)
Director, Community Day Center for Children


Shawn Thurman (he/him)
Registered Nurse, Seattle Indian Health Board



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