I am excited to introduce a new program launching October 3 as a partnership between Highlands Council, the City of Issaquah, and the Issaquah community. The Cultural Conversations program is designed for all residents to get better connected with their community and to enhance their knowledge and understanding of different cultural practices and world views.
The City of Bellevue started their Cultural Conversations program in 2010. I was fortunate to attend a couple of their events earlier this year and was so inspired I knew that we needed to bring this program to Issaquah. During each event, we will hear from residents (storytellers) about a topic. Then we will discuss in smaller, moderator-led table groups about what we heard and what it means to us.
Culture is defined as “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people or social group.” At my first Cultural Conversations event in Bellevue, in addition to a transplant from New York and a grandparent from Japan, one of the people at my table was the mom of a child with special needs. That is her culture, and I realized that day that each of us has our own culture, whether it be where we’re from, what we’ve been through, or the challenges we face today.
Cultural Conversations will take place four times in the next year at Blakely Hall. The events are free, refreshments will be served, and people of all ages, faiths and cultures are welcome to attend. Pre-arranged childcare is recommended. I encourage you all to join me on October 3 at 7:00pm for an uplifting night of conversation and learning!