Erin Jones hosts Fireside Chat at Bridge

What does it look like to embody the past, present, and future? How do we hold our collective learning and embrace with honesty who we are and where we are going? These are the questions we asked with this year’s Bridge Conference theme, “Illuminating Becoming.” It was our hope to bring together a group of imaginative leaders from across Washington state to dive deeper into questions like these and share their learning along the way. The four individuals we are honored to give our stage to include those who are leading with anti-racist practices in education and youth development, taking … [ ]

Joy, Healing and Restoration highlighted at this year’s Bridge Conference.

While we continue to face new and ongoing challenges in Washington state and beyond, our team has held true to our Bridge Conference values of  Equity​, Nourishment​, Leadership​, Change​, Innovation​, Community​, and  Belonging. It is these values that inspired us to meet the needs of our community through carefully chosen workshops. We invite and strongly encourage each person to choose a session that is just for you and what you want and need, whether it is joy or healing or restoration. Here is a list of just some of the sessions we’ll be offering this year. Everyday Mindfulness & Self-Compassion Presenters … [ ]

Developing our Bridge Conference COVID-19 Protocols

As we prepare to return to an in-person Conference for the first time in three years, we are announcing our revised COVID-19 Protocols and Practices for our 2022 Bridge Conference, which will take place in Tacoma October 24-25.   SOWA leadership and the Bridge Planning team recognize the importance of honoring multiple truths, norms, and experiences, especially when deciding about the health and safety of our community. Our Bridge Planning team includes staff from across the state, is primarily people of color, and has a wide array of experiences in the field. Their perspectives and experiences helped shape our decision-making process.   … [ ]

Play is for everyone with Greentrike

Be inquisitive. Be about community. Truly. Let youth not only be a voice, but an active contributor for the programs they want to be a part of.  These are just a few takeaways from my conversation with Fahren Johnson,  Director of Strategic Initiatives at Greentrike in Tacoma. Greentrike is an organization that “honors children and youth and champions play.” Beginning as the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Greentrike has become a county-wide advocacy and education organization—one that believes playful experiences are essential for learning, joy, and a thriving community. Fahren emphasized that accessibility is key to their work. The organization is … [ ]

Tanaya Winder will share her “heartwork” at the 2022 Bridge Conference

We are thrilled to have Tanaya Winder as our Opening Keynote Speaker at this year’s Bridge Conference. Our Bridge Planning Team was inspired by her storytelling, artistry, and messages about healing and wellness, which match our desire to build a Conference that integrates opportunities for healing, restoration, and joy. We appreciate her roots in youth development and we sought out people whose identities have not been as well represented in the past few years. She is able to talk about difficult things while still leaving folks feeling uplifted and her work is well-aligned with our theme of Illuminating Becoming. Tanaya … [ ]

Meet this year’s Bridge artist—Saiyare Refaei

Saiyare Refaei (they/them/she/her) is a Chinese Iranian artist based on the traditional lands of the Puyallup and Coast Salish peoples referred to as Tacoma, Washington. Their mediums include community murals, printmaking, drawings, and poetry. Saiyare strives to utilize art as a means of community building, education, and healing. Saiyare organizes with La Resistencia for the freedom of immigrants detained in the detention center in Tacoma and is a member of Justseeds, a transnational decentralized network of artists committed to social, environmental, and political engagement. Find more of Saiyare’s work here or @_saikick_ on Instagram. What inspired their art for this year’s Bridge … [ ]