The second annual Stronger Together event in Arlington, Lakewood and Darrington will help residents learn about the diversity in their communities.
The event will be held May 15 to 16 with a number of virtual events as well as a curated historical tour through the Stillaguamish Valley.
“We did one last year and it was all virtual, but this time we are including a tour of the Stillaguamish Valley with historical and cultural stops,” said Sarah Lopez, community revitalization project manager and communications manager with the city of Arlington.
Lopez said that organizers of the event took input from local Native American tribes about important locations for the stops.
The event was organized to begin local discussions to highlight and learn more about different racial groups and other underrepresented communities.
“This was an initiative to talk about diversity in our community,” said Lopez. “A way to start the conversation and do some self-learning.”
The event is designed to highlight local groups as well.
“I think people like learning more about the place they live and the people that live here,” she said.
Many of the events will be online and are meant to help individuals learn about their community members.
Opening ceremonies will be broadcast from Lakewood High School and feature a jazz performance as well as a couple of local Native Americans teaching one of their culture’s songs.
The ‘Socrates Café’ event on May 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. is meant to facilitate conversation.
“It’s not really a class, it’s more of an open-minded discussion,” said Lopez. “It’s meant to stimulate ideas and give a space to listen to other people’s perspectives."
A Zoom workshop later that day will teach participants about LGBTQ+ vocabulary.
“It will be about what all the different terms mean,” said Lopez. “This will be family friendly an open to all ages."
Community leaders will also be presenting children story time events on Facebook live with books such as ‘The Maiden of Deception Pass: Guardian of her Samish People.’
The story times will be recorded and can be viewed later.
Outdoor events include the Stillaguamish Valley tour.
“There will be a brochure available at our website so people can do the tour on the weekend or at their leisure,” said Lopez.
Locals will also be able to learn about Native basket weaving at the Arlington farmers market on May 15 and an interactive map at Legion Park will allow community members to mark where their ancestors are from.
The event is organized by a group of volunteers who are part of the Stronger Together Planning Committee, with support from the city of Arlington, the Arlington School District, the Stillaguamish Tribe and Sno-Isle Libraries.
“We’re always open to recommendations and new volunteers for the group,” said Lopez.
“We hope to do activities throughout the year as well,” and not just the one event, she said.