Facing Forward: Essential Workers, Essential Stories

June 2, 2022 | The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center and Civic Commons continued “Facing Forward,” a virtual series that highlights our exhibit Enduring COVID-19: Stories from our Transforming World. This event  featured essential workers, as they shared 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-19 pandemic hit, we saw the importance not only of medical professionals but grocery-store employees, daycare providers, and bus drivers. This discussion was 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

Watch the event video

Resources & Toolkit

Partner Organizations  

  • Amplifier is a non-profit design lab that builds art and media experiments to amplify the most important movements of our times.
  • City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture manages the city’s public art program, cultural partnerships grant programs and many more.
  • Civic Commons By elevating community voices and uniting different sectors around mutually agreed goals, Civic Commons aims to build the infrastructure and collective muscle needed to address the root causes of inequity in Greater Seattle.
  • FEEST trains youth of color and working-class youth to build collective power and organize for transformative and systemic change in their schools.
  • Seattle Indian Health Board is a community health center that provides health and human services to its patients while specializing in the care of Native people.
  • South Seattle Emerald‘s mission is to amplify the authentic narratives of South Seattle.

Read & Learn

Watch & Listen

  • The All My Relations Podcast by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) The podcast delves into various topics being faced by Native peoples today.
  • We Belong Here podcast hosted by Frank Nam, of Civic Commons as he interviews community stewards about how we can work together differently to build a thriving greater Seattle region

Ways to get involved:

Even though the day is over, it does not mean the connections have to stop. Below are some organizations dedicated to aiding girls, women, and families as they navigate through life. Learn more below:

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