How I Saw: Spokane’s 8,000 Women March by Robert Lloyd

Protester’s sign read stand up! speak up! and these protesters did it this cold Spokane winter day. Some who were lucky made it to inside halls standing and sitting in the warmth and could hear the messages from the Ballroom. Others filled sidewalks for blocks east and west and entertained each other with songs, music, chatter. The Davenport Hotel Coffee and Bar was a hit place to keep warm.

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After the March People Rose Up!

Marchers continued on to the Community Building where they shared chili, soup, music, poetry, speakers, a movie, action tables, creative activities for kids and adults, and began networking to take action.

Something You Can Do                                                    Personal Actions You Can Take

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Something We Can All Do: Life Under Trump #3


Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

Let’s Commit Ourselves

Martin Luther King Day Celebration 2017

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OK, we had our celebration with speeches and the march.

Now Let’s Commit Ourselves

Since 2008 news and social media have done nothing but complain about what politicians did and did not do. If they have not accomplished goals and objectives it is no one’s fault but your own.  If you are not satisfied with the 2016 election I suggest that you step up and do something about it.

From the list below, choose the issue you feel needs action,  list the issue and the name of an organization that works on that issue in the comment box below and fill in your contact information. If you do not know of an organization, volunteer to start such an organization. I will pass your contact information on to the appropriated organization. Also I will collate the information everyone contributes and post the results at this site To stay aware of current posts at this site in the right hand side bar SUBSCRIBE to receive an email notifying you of new posts (a couple per week).

What Will You Commit To

Protest (Civic Disobedience, Non-violent direct action, Go to jail), Government service, Social justice, Political action, Political parties (Democratic, Republican, Independent, Progressive), Employment (Jobs and training), Housing, Healthy food production, Education (K12, College), Environment (Climate change etc.) Community organizing, Social justice, Community service, Social services, Health and safety, Drug abuse prevention, Community security, Reproductive rights, Hunger, Homelessness, Race relations, Human relations, Art and culture, International affairs, Belief systems (Humanism etc.).


MLK Week Kicks Off!


After the showing of the documentary film 13th at Bethel AME Church at 10 am on January 14, across town at the Spokane Public Library PJALS (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane) sponsored a 5 hour hands on workshop: Love > Hate: Bystander Intervention Training which covered:

Being Resistant to Assertiveness

  1. Self-defense
  2. Continuum of Oppression / Nature of Prejudice
  3. The Spinach in Your Teeth Theory and Overview
  4. Putting Assertiveness into Context
  5. Assertiveness Model & Calling In

My observation as I photographed the workshop was that it was excellent. I thought that the information below that was listed on a wallet sized card was a good tool for it was an excellent tool for using white privilege to intervene in oppressive situations.

Assertiveness Model
Describe the problem or name the problem behavior. “The situation is ______.”
Tell why the behavior is wrong or say how it makes you feel. “That’s not ok because _____.” “I feel ________when you _____.”
State your needs or give a direction. “What I/we need is _____.”
Be firm and persistent.

Practice Assertiveness!

Act like a self-respecting equal: You are! You have a right to your opinions, decisions, and to say NO with no excuses. Be persistent!
Visual: Straighten your spine. Breathe deeply. Make direct eye contact. Take up space.
Vocal: Speak in a firm tone. Don’t end statements with question marks.
Verbal: Think & talk about yourself positively. Don’t self-limit with lead-ups or tags. State your needs. Use “I feel ___.” Clarify. Say what you mean directly.
Support others in solidarity and unity.


Red Alert! Red Alert!

MLK Week Kicks Off

On January 14 in a small inland northwest town MLK Week kicked off with the Netflix documentary 13th:

Sandy Williams, publisher of the Black Lens News and Rev. Walter Kendricks president of the Spokane Ministers Fellowship started the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations with the screening of the Netflix documentary film 13th at Bethel AME Church in Spokane hosted by the Rev. Lonnie Mitchell.

Spokane Washington 2015 Census DataAfter the screening the audience – predominantly white residents of the inland northwest – broke up into small groups for discussion. How did they feel? What did they need to do about it?

  1. I wish all the kids in our school district could see this.
  2. I never heard of the organization ALEC.
  3. I have 4 family members with a total of over 100 years in prison plus one with 3 strikes you’re out.
  4. I think we need political action.
  5. I take Netflix and I have never seen this before.
  6. I worked on both sides of this issue – as a corrections officer on the inside and as a youth counselor on the outside.
  7. The corrections industry is a cesspool.
  8. We need to talk about self responsibility.
  9. Black people need to have serious discussions about race also.
  10. White people need to check out SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). PJALS is starting a SURJ Spokane branch.
  11. Look into  Hope Cafe : Washington State Department of Corrections initiative.
  12. We can send out information to follow up on this meeting.
  13. Subscribe to Black Lens News.
  14. We can join forces with a group started on the west side of the state called Black Prisoners Caucus.
  15. There is a small group that meets the First Thursday of every month at the Rocket Market at 43rd & Scott at 10 am and discusses actions that may be taken to build the community we would like to live in.

As the meeting at Bethel AME was ending a workshop called

Love > Hate: Bystander Intervention Training

was being held by PJALS across town at the Spokane Public Library. This workshop gave hands on experience in how to challenge oppressive statements.

What She Did – Something You Can Do


This action grew out of our First Thursday Coffee Discussion at the Rocket Market last week. If you have taken a positive action please comment on this post.

River Park Square Customer Concerns
January 13, 2017    (as posted on

I want to share an experience with you that I have shared with many people – sometimes in a classroom of 30, sometimes to a friend. The other day I shared it with five or six people having coffee together. These are usually all white audiences. I am an African American. I have two  memorable experiences in the River Park Square Shopping Mall. One was an art exhibit in Nordstrom’s during Black History Week in the late 1990’s. It was a very pleasant experience and the floorwalker came by and enjoyed my work, smiled and said pleasant things throughout the day. I have only shared that experience with a few people. The other experience took place maybe ten years ago but it often feels like it happened yesterday. Let me describe that second experience.

I am an older man with gray hair and dressed rather conservatively. I was shopping with my wife and began to feel tired and out of breath so I asked my wife to continue shopping while I found a seat in the entryway to the mall. There were two benches, one on the east side of the entrance and the other on the west side. The bench on the east side was filled with a family. A man with many packages was seated on the bench on the west side. I stood next to next to him on the bench, he saw me but he did not make an effort to move over or make room for me on the bench. Feeling very lightheaded at this point I sat down on the floor fearing I was going to fall down. Two or three minutes later a man approached in street clothes and told me that he was security and that I could get up or go to jail. I told him that I was feeling lightheaded and had to rest and that my wife would be back soon to take me home. He told me “Get up or go to jail.”   So I got up, walked outside, got some air, came back, my wife came, and we went home. I had expected that mall security would have asked the man to move his packages that I might sit on the bench. He didn’t and I didn’t. I asked security to ask the man and his response was “Get up or go to jail.”

The only reason I am telling you this now, out of all the times I have told this story, is that usually when I do whites listen without saying anything while Blacks say “That’s life.” I think “What’s the use. They’re all white so avoid any kind of confrontation, let it go.” This time when I told the story to a white woman she later contacted me. Here is what she said in her message: “Hey Robert! What a pleasure to hear/see the history in your warm, inviting home. Thanks so much for taking the time to “educate” V and I. BTW, I forgot to mention, I visited for a long time with a Riverpark Square security manager last week about that incident you told me about and learned a lot…must share with you sometime. I encourage you to fill out this complaint form attached and send to Sara Cannon at the address provided. Let me know what you think.“  Attached was this form.

I don’t know how you can use this information. Maybe it can be an educational process for your staff and employees. I’ll probably keep telling the story. But there will be an addition to it. I will tell them about a white lady I met named BB who came to my defense and maybe there is hope after all. I will encourage my listeners to immediately document their own event and send it to the management of the facility and a copy to some social justice organization.

Robert J. Lloyd

Let’s Commit Ourselves to Action

During the last eight years I have heard so many complaints about what President Obama has and has not done for us.   Barack Obama has done more for America than anyone since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. energized the Civil Rights Movement.

Since 2008 news and social media have done nothing but complain about what politicians did and did not do. If they have not accomplished goals and objectives it is no one’s fault but your own.  If you are not satisfied with the 2016 election I suggest that you step up and do something about it.

If there is an issue or a problem that you feel needs fixing, post a comment to this page describing the problem and the name of an organization that works on that problem that you are involved in or would like to be involved in. If you do not know of an organization, volunteer to start such an organization. Include your contact information. I will collate the information everyone contributes and post the results on  this site 

What are the issues that you feel are important in the year 2017?

What is your level of commitment?
Are you an actor, are you an ally or are you an accomplice? Click the link to see how we are defining these terms and what you might do:

Something We Can All Do: Life Under Trump #2


Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.



Something We Can All Do Life After Trump

January Community Events

My apologies for not getting this out sooner. Below is a list of the January events that I am aware of that are still remaining. There are speakers, movie screenings, marches, and community discussions. Something for everyone. It’s a fairly long list, so please take the time to read to the bottom. Happy New Year.

Sandy Williams



“Growing Up in America as a Black Panther, Poet, Professor, and Prisoner”: The youngest spokesman and leader of the Black Panthers New York Chapter. Author of the book, “Panther Baby- A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention.” Featured on Def Poetry Jam and BETs American Gangster.

10am – 11am – Coffee and Book Signing  (Hagan Center, Bldg 16, 2nd Floor)

11:30am – 12:30pm – Presentation (Lair Auditorium, Bldg 6) 

Spokane Community College1810 N Greene St, Spokane, WA 

 Free and open to the public. For more information call (509) 533-7032



Hosted by University High School Students. A community member forum about real issues pressing Spokane.

5 – 8pm University High, Commons Area 12420 E 32nd Ave, Spokane Valley WA

Food provided – Questions and conversation encouraged!



The Black Lens and the Spokane Minister’s Fellowship are teaming up to host a viewing and discussion of the documentary 13th. The thought provoking film, directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma), features scholars, activists and politicians analyzing the criminalization of African Americans, mass incarceration and the U.S. prison boom. Join us for this important conversation!!!

10am – 1pm Bethel A.M.E. Church 645 S Richard Allen Court, Spokane, WA

Free and open to the public.



Presented by the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm H.R.E.I. Center 414 Millan Rd, Coeur d’Alene, ID

For more information and cost call 208.765.3932 or visit



10am – 2pm Spokane Convention Center 334 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane

For more information contact the MLK Center at (509) 455-8722 or visit



Join the NAACP for our monthly general membership meeting

7:00pm Community Building – Lobby 35 W. Main Street, Spokane WA

For more information contact the NAACP at 509-209-2425 (ext 1141) or visit the website at

JANUARY 16 & 17


An innovative traveling table top exhibit depicting Black memorabilia spanning slavery to Hip Hop. Artifacts in this unparalleled mobile collection represent items from the categories of slavery, Jim Crow era, music, sports, the Civil Rights and Black Power era, and popular culture.

1/16/17 – can van be viewed before, during, and after the MLK March and Resource Fair, at the Spokane Convention Center, Downtown Spokane

1/17/17 – 10:00 am-3:00, lecture at 4:00 pm, be in the HUB MPR on the Whitworth University campus

Cost: Free, open to everyone

For more information contact David Garcia at 509.777.4572 or visit their website at The exhibit on the 16th is in partnership with the MLK Center.



Poetry by Randy Harnasch & Kathleen Schrum and Music by Brown’s Mountain Boys

6:30-7:30pm Barnes & Noble Bookstore – Northtown Mall 4750 N Division, Spokane WA



The SFCC Black Student Union presents their MLK Celebration speaker Donisha Rita-Claire Prendergast, a filmmaker, poet, and granddaughter of Bob and Rita Marley.

11:30am – 1pm

Spokane Falls Community College (SUB – Lounges A,B &C) 3410 W Ft George Wright Dr, Spokane, WA 99224

For more information contact The Mosaic Center at (509) 533-4331.



The 3rd Annual Inland Northwest Female Summit (INWFS) is a free leadership program serving all young women, specifically first-generation, low-income, and multicultural women populations in the greater Inland Northwest.

9AM – 3PM Eastern Washington University, Hargreaves Hall 526 5th Street, Cheney, WA 

For more information contact Randy Corradine at or 509.359.4879.



Over 2,000 people are expected to march through the streets of Spokane, joining communities nation-wide as part of a day long coordinated Women’s March, which will begin in Washington DC.  Citizens of Central and Eastern Washington, North Idaho, Western Montana, and British Columbia are invited to gather in Spokane, Washington. We are reaching out to all defenders of human rights to mobilize with us.  This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. This is a 100% inclusive event, welcoming all genders, races, ages, religions, and sexual orientations. March participants will be inspired and supported, and will leave with a new or renewed sense that “We Are America” and will not be silenced.

Spokane activities start at 11:00 a.m. with a rally at the Spokane Convention Center, where guests will hear inspirational speakers from national and local human rights, justice, and women’s advocacy groups, as well as musical entertainment. Beginning at 1:00 p.m., there will be a peaceful but powerful march through downtown Spokane, followed by a volunteer fair after our return to the Convention Center.  The Volunteer Fair will provide guests the opportunity to learn about, support, and volunteer for a constellation of agencies and organizations.  

11am – 3pm Spokane Convention Center 334 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA

For information contact or visit  or Facebook at “Women’s March on Spokane”



Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS) and our partners are organizing a grassroots power action festival to say from day 1: We are paying attention, we are reaching out, we are mobilizing, we are turning up the heat! This is a family-friendly, kid-welcoming event. 

2-5 pm Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS) 35 W Main Ave, Spokane 

For more information contact PJALS at (509) 838-7870.



We made it to our second year.!!! Join The Black Lens for cake, punch and some yummy appetizers as we celebrate our 2nd year of publishing and look forward to year number three.

3-5pm CHKN-N-MO 414 1/2 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201

Cost: No charge

For more information call The Black Lens at (509) 795-1964 or



Join us for this public event All are welcome. Representatives will be available from various departments. On site interviews available for current job openings. Job seeking

seminars will be provided.

5 – 7pm Ready to Serve Ministries 404 N. Argonne Road, Spokane Valley, WA

Cost: No charge

For more information call (509) 354-7265 or visit



Hosted by Inland Imaging and the Links, Inc.

For women over 40 who are due for their routine exam or those aged 35-40 who wish to be screened. While you wait for your mammogram, enjoy refreshments, a relaxing massage, and assorted gifts.

5:30 – 7:30pm Inland Imaging (Located inside Holy Family Hospital)

5715 N Lidgerwood St, Spokane, WA 99208

**IMPORTANT: Space is limited! Please contact your insurance company ahead of time and ask if they will cover the 3D imaging. You will need to know and bring with you the following information: Physician’s Name, Personal ID, Insurance Card.

It is highly recommended that participants send in the following information prior to coming (to help things run smoother) : Date of Birth; Full Name of your Primary Care Physician / Practitioner; Name of your insurance carrier. Information should be sent to Faith Washington prior to arrival at the party at This information will be

confidential and HIPAA protected.



Taking Responsibility: Acting Together in Faith – Featuring a panel on Poverty.

9 a.m.-3 p.m. St Mark’s Lutheran Church 316 E. 24th Avenue, Spokane WA

Organizers include The Fig Tree, Catholic Charities Spokane, the Faith Action Network and the Inland United Methodist District.

To RSVP: Send suggested donation of $20 To The Fig Tree • 1323 S. Perry St. • Spokane WA 99202 call (509) 535-4112 or email For information, call 535-1813 or email Fliers are available at

Sandy Williams

Eastern Washington Representative

Washington State Commission on African American Affairs


Mission: To improve the well-being of African Americans by ensuring their access to participation in the fields of government, business, education, health care, and other areas. 

Sandy Williams

Commissioner – Eastern Washington Representative

Washington State Commission on African American Affairs

Jundt Art Museum Mask Exhibit at GU Open Until Jan 14

Crafting Identity: Masks and the Pastorela in Michoacán  will open in the ARCADE GALLERY at the Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University on September 10 and will be on display through January 14, 2017.

  An exhibition of masks carved by Felipe Horta and various other mask artists from the village of Tocuaro, in Michoacan. These masks are used in the ceremonial dances (pastorelas) staged during the community fiesta held each February. Tocuaro is locally and nationally known for its mask artists (mascareros) and the well-carved and painted masks that they produce.

Video by Pavel Shlossberg on the Use of Masks in the Pastorelas

Info on masks and pastorelas begins at 9:12 (9 minutes and 12 seconds into the video)



Photos of Felipe Horta’s Mask Making Workshop at the Art Dept at Gonzaga University