(Chelsea Update would like to thank Joanne Ladio for the information in this story.)
During the school year, the Chelsea District Schools’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee approved a list of books they hoped to share with their students – books which would underscore the themes of equity/inclusion and the community value of celebrating human difference.
Chelsea Area One World One Family (OWOF) was happy to donate books to the schools based on their selections.
“I wanted to share that the preschool received, “I Am Enough” from the OWOF donations, and they already read it to their classes,” said one school administrator.
One of the teachers sent me a picture of two students who were swinging and saying, “Like the bird, I’m here to fly and soar over everything.” She heard them say, “Let’s fly like the girl in the book,” and “flew” on their swings. Here’s to many more mirror/window books that help our students see the world and fly,”
With the start of its 20th program year, Chelsea Area OWOF is looking forward to supporting Chelsea in many more new “flights” like this one.
Plans for the coming year include:
- Continuing to sponsor community dialogue on police reform and to help offer resources to better understand the complexity of this issue
- Sponsor Indigenous People’s Land Acknowledgement Day on Oct. 11
- Sponsor community activities aimed at understanding racism and actively working to make Chelsea a welcoming community
- Support the schools diversity, equity and inclusion efforts
- Continue activities to share the principles of restorative justice
- Promote the United Way 21-Day Equity Challenge and provide a Chelsea discussion opportunity
- Continue our Martin Luther King Jr. Day tradition – OWOF has organized the Chelsea celebration of Dr. King every year since 2002.
- Update our website (owof.org) as a resource for anti-racism and social justice articles, books and activities.
In August, OWOF adopted a new mission/vision statement: One World One Family is committed to justice and equity for all*. We work to be anti-racist and to oppose discrimination in any form. We engage and empower people to have an impact and change systems to ensure everyone can participate fully in a diverse society.
(* all / “ahl” / Noun 1. The whole human family, regardless of actual or perceived age, color, disability, familial status, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, disability status, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of income, veteran status, or weight. Are you represented? Adopted 11/13/21)
OWOF’s 9-member board is proud of the group’s recent work. Actions and activities this past year include:
- Sponsored the June 4, 2020 rally in support of #Black Lives Matter
- Encouraged citizen engagement in City Council listening sessions and council meetings discussing police reform
- Sponsored a GoFundMe campaign to help defray the costs of the citations issued for marchers/protestors who were ticketed and had paid their tickets prior to the court’s dismissal of tickets.
- Organized the 2020 MLK Jr. Day of Service and Social Action
- Created the 2020 Peace Dove Tree for the Chelsea Festival of Lights
- Housing Action Group worked to include greater diversity and accessibility for all into the new City of Chelsea Zoning Ordinance
- StoryBank Action Group organized to collect community testimonials
- Sponsored presentations on restorative justice
- Offered the Calling In/Calling Out event to learn how to have courageous conversations
- Community book discussion of “Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow – An Organizing Guide” and learning together how to build campaigns to make change
- Offered Stand Together Against Hate yard signs
OWOF invites everyone to learn more by joining their email/newsletter list and/or follow on Facebook at facebook.com/OneWorldOneFamily to stay informed with OWOF activities.
To join, email [email protected]
OWOF’s newly elected board of directors is always happy to receive ideas from the community, as they did from the Chelsea schools request earlier this year. Board members can be reached at the above email.
2021 Board of Directors
Joanne Ladio–president, Jane Pacheco—vice president, Carolyn Stilwell–secretary, Sandra Vadlamudi–treasurer, Dianna Kause, Jason Eyster, LeAnn Seto, Mark VanDeWege, Susanne Vanden Bosch.
Chelsea OWOF is a non-profit 401c3 organization which was organized in 2002 and incorporated in 2005. PO Box 31, Chelsea, MI 48118