By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The fledgling group formed in response to a hate crime against a Pigeon Point family has named itself “Hate-Free Delridge” and is planning a community event.
We first reported two weeks ago about the group’s formation, in response to the racist, threatening note left on the porch of Stephanie Endres and her family last month.
The group just met for the second time. Its goal is to bring the community together while fostering acceptance, tolerance, and inclusion.
While what happened to the Endres family certainly was the spark for Hate-Free Delridge, neighbor and community activist Stu Hennessey observed at the second meeting that the current political environment doesn’t help matters. Organizer Rachel Glass said there are times she wants to fight to make things better for the people in her community, and this is certainly one of them.
In addition to Hennessey and Glass, the group also includes Steve Richmond, who hosted the second meeting at his Puget Ridge home, as well as Rob Becker, Dave Gamrath, Lisa Kauffman, Susan Lebow, and Pavan Vangipuram of OneAmerica, a non-profit organization formed after 9/11 that advocates for immigrants and refugees. All are residents of Pigeon Point or Puget Ridge. While they say the two neighborhoods, and nearby Highland Park, are the focus neighborhoods for Hate-Free Delridge, the message they hope to foster is designed to include all of West Seattle.
To that end, Hate-Free Delridge is planning an event called the Hate-Free Hootenanny, a potluck with fun events for kids and adults, music, and thoughtful conversation, as a stepping-stone to something bigger, which they plan to hold before the November election. The Hootenanny is tentatively planned for Sept. 24, with more details to be revealed once the venue is confirmed. The group will cook up a main dish, but it is asking prospective attendees to bring their favorite dishes from their respective cultures. Vangipuram will make some opening remarks, but after that goal is to have a celebration of community, cultures, food, and fun. You might even make a new friend! Stay tuned for details.