HUman Rights Festival on Hiatus

Whew. It’s been a heckuva year. No Human Rights Festival in Skagit this year. If you are interested in participating in a future festival, please contact us at

In the meantime, no end of things to feel passionately about and work toward bettering. It’s a Do It Yourself kind of year – keep us posted on what you are up to?

With love, in solidarity,

your human rights festival allies

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2013 SHRF – A Decade of Human Rights in the Valley

SHRF Poster 2013_2March is Human Rights Month in the Valley, and we’re presenting 6 events focusing on emerging human rights concerns. All events are free, donations gladly accepted. Here’s the outline so far, and you can find more information on each event page, including links to the films we will be screening. You can also find more information about events and related articles on our Facebook Page!

Prospectus – 2013 Skagit Human Rights Festival  – 10th AnniversarySHRF_Bookmark2013_final

A Decade of Human Rights in the Valley
Celebrating Community Honoring Diversity

al currier poster1998Alfred Currier’s artwork will be displayed at the Burlington Library and various locations throughout downtown Mount Vernon.  For location details and more information on Alfred Currier,  please visit his Artwork Event Page.



GMOs. Film “Genetic Roulette” + panel discussion                                       Thursday 7 March 2013. 7 pm. Skagit Valley College’s Phillip Tarro Theatre
Panel to include Chris McManus from LabelitWA, Steve Jones from WSU

A film by Jeffrey M. Smith – Narrated by Lisa Oz. A production of the Institute for Responsible Technology
Jeffrey M. Smith, author of the world’s bestselling books on GMOs, Seeds of Deception, is a leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices.
Never-Before-Seen-Evidence points to genetically engineered foods as a major contributor to rising disease rates in the US population, especially among children. Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, inflammatory diseases, and infertility are just some of the problems implicated in humans, pets, livestock, and lab animals that eat genetically modified soybeans and corn.
Monsanto’s strong arm tactics, the FDA’s fraudulent policies, and how the USDA ignores a growing health emergency are also laid bare. This sometimes shocking film may change your diet, help you protect your family, and accelerate the consumer tipping point against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Don’t miss this film!

Transgender/Transformation                                                                                      Saturday 9 March 2013. 2 pm, Skagit Valley College’s Multipurpose Room
Produced by Skagit PFLAG, SVC Rainbow Alliance, WA Gender Alliance –
Film: Faces and Facets of TransGender Experience

About “Faces and Facets of Transgender Experience”: Eighteen people and their families share touching stories about the journey from despair and loss to the joy of being the gender they were meant to be. Diversity of ages, ethnicity and background of the interviewees put many faces on what it means to be gender variant. Some topics include how family relationships changed, employment discrimination and coming out at work, issues with law enforcement, interactions after transition, being the parent of a gender variant child and dealing with schools. The emphasis is on positive adjustment, the healthy choices trans people make to work with the challenges, without ignoring them. The purpose for a general non-trans audience will be to create awareness, reduce discomfort and prejudice about transgender persons, and to help people see gender variance as just another aspect of the human experience. Trailer:

Panel with mom and her son from California: Marsha Aizumi and Aiden have written a
new book called Two Spirits: One Heart. Another panel member – Atty Roberta Zenker
who just wrote TransMontana.
Contact: Kathy Reim(PFLAG, Linda Jordan (SVC)

Food: The Skagit Food System                                                                                        Thursday 14 March 2013. 7 pm. Skagit Valley College’s MultiPurpose Room
Hear from this panel of local food system advocates about the state of the food system
here at home, what’s going on to improve Food Security, Food Sovereignty and Food
Justice here in the Skagit, and what you can do to help.

Advocates: Rita Ordonez, Community Food Access Manager for Community Action Skagit.  Sarita Schaffer, Ethan Schaffer, Viva Farms, Cultivating Success. Jim Meyer, Cascadian Home Farm General Manager, Community Action Skagit Board member. Karen Parnell, Skagit 1095 – Fully nourishing all children in Skagit County. Holly Thompson, WSU Cooperative Extension. Steve Crider, Amy’s Kitchen and local food system ombudsman.
Contact: Jim Meyer/Steve Crider of Community Action’s Ending Childhood Hunger

Dana Lyons – Singer/songwriter in concert – Thursday 21 March 2013. 7 pm. Skagit Valley College’s Phillip Tarro Theatre
Dana Lyons is the singer/songwriter best known for his dynamic performances and
outrageous hit songs “Cows With Guns,” “RV” and “Ride The Lawn.”

Bringing together a mix of comedy, ballads and love songs, Dana’s sharp wit and
beautiful voice have him performing at concert halls, festivals, conventions, fundraisers
and universities across the US and around the world. Dana’s music style includes a bit
of everything; his biggest radio hit, “Cows With Guns,” receives crossover radio play on
country, rock, alternative, community, college and oldies radio stations worldwide.

He has recently been on a Coal Train tour, following the route the coal trains would take
from the Powder River Basin to proposed terminals along the coasts of Washington and Oregon.

Women in Leadership                                                                                                     Saturday, 23 March 2013, 2-4:30 pm. SVC’s Phillip Tarro Theatre                       Miss Representation film with multi-generational panel of women, including Latinas, to follow.

Confirmed panel members: Mayor Jill Boudreau (Mount Vernon mayor), Rep. Kris Lytton (representing the state’s 40th LD), Claudia Avendaño Palomera (MVHS grad, MSW, Board of Community Action and on their Latino/a Advisory Council), Felisha Palomera (MVHS 2012 grad, attending UW, considering law), Patricia Paul (lawyer who is an Alaska Native, Inupiat.)

Both women and Latinas in our Skagit community are under-represented in leadership roles, hence the inclusion of Latinas.

Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation (90 min; TV-14 DL) uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.

In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.

Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.
Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare                                              28 March 2012. 7 pm. – Lincoln Theatre, downtown Mount Vernon
Panel discussion to follow. Panel will include Dr. Jeanne Crump, DO,  Director of Medical Education at Skagit Valley Hospital, Peter Browning, Director or Skagit County Publich Health, and Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, an emergency room physician with 30 years of experience, who currently teaches courses in Population Health at the University of Washington. His study of what influences the health of societies reveals that social and economic disparity within a given society is a stronger determinant of health, well-being and longevity than is access to health care.
Dr. Bezruchka’s prescription for a healthier America includes working to lessen the gap between the rich and the poor, prioritizing care in early childhood, increasing the opportunities for and status of women, and creating more socially connected communities.

ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system?

American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs––almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse. About 65% of Americans are overweight and almost 75% of healthcare costs are spent on preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society.


It’s not surprising that healthcare tops many Americans’ concerns and is at the center of a political firestorm in our nation’s Capitol. But the current battle over cost and access does not ultimately address the root of the problem: we have a disease-care system, not a healthcare system.

ESCAPE FIRE examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground. This film follows dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military. ESCAPE FIRE is about finding a way out. It’s about saving the health of a nation.
Skagit Human Rights Festival is a 501(c)(3) under the fiscal sponsorship of Community
Action. Like us on Facebook. Or find us at or for more
info contact

Posted in Events, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2012 Skagit Human Rights Festival Details

Th 9th Annual Skagit Human Rights Festival is coming soon!

March is Human Rights Month in Skagit County.


SVC Art Gallery – Lee Mann exhibition – March 2012

We honor Lee Mann for his art and for the commitment he demonstrated for human rights in his letters to the editor of the Skagit Valley Herald – both art and letters will be on display. The art opening will be Thursday March 1 at 5pm in the multi-purpose room on the Skagit Valley College campus. The exhibit will feature glimpses of Lee Mann’s personal life, his nature photography, and a book of his letters.

Lincoln Theatre Gallery – Human Rights Art Display – March 2012

During the month of March, the Lincoln Theatre art gallery will host a Human Rights Display by local Skagit Valley artists.

An opening for this event will take place on Friday, March 2nd from 5 -7 pm at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Mount Vernon. The Human Rights Display will be up throughout the month of March in conjunction with the Skagit Human Rights Festival.

Local artists may submit their work for consideration to Pirjo Pasanen at the Lincoln Theatre. Contact her at Art must be related to the four topics for this event: corporations, civil liberties, water, and labor.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 – Phillip Tarro Theatre on SVC campus, 7 PM

Corporations and the Rise of Occupy

We’ll start the evening with a panel of people who have been involved with Occupy movements in Bellingham and Anacortes, and close with a film screening of the 2010 Academy  Award-winning documentary on the climate of financial corruption that contributed to the economic collapse of the housing market, Inside Job.

Thursday, March 15, 2012 – Phillip Tarro Theatre on SVC campus, 7 PM

Civil liberties – Why we ALL should fear E-verify

         When we hear “E-verify” we may think of immigrants, but Alaska’s super-lawyer since 2007, Lt. Col. Margaret Stock (ret.) will explain why we ALL should fear E-Verify.

Lt. Col. Margaret Stock. Margaret (ret.) has a law degree from Harvard, is a retired military officer, and taught from 2001 – 2010 at West Point. She is currently an adjunct instructor of Political Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Margaret has written and testified before Congress on immigration and citizenship matters and spoken about national security. Margaret has won many awards – one being the 2008 American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro-Bono award and since 2007 has been Alaska’s Super Lawyer.

Links to articles about E-verify by others: (Rutherford Institute–conservative think tank)

Thursday, March 22, 2012 – Lincoln Theatre – 7 PM

Defending Water

Local activists to show the film  Tapped that relates to the proposed Anacortes bottling plant that will be entitled up to five million gallons per day of Skagit River water through 2050. Sandra Spargo, from Defending Water in Washington, which is part of the Alliance for Democracy, will introduce the documentary, share how it relates to Anacortes’ contract with Tethys and answer questions afterward.

Thursday, March 29, 2012 – Lincoln Theatre – 7 PM

Labor – Two short labor films will be shown – We are the ILWU and Eyes on the Fries. The first film recognizes that a decent job, free of discrimination, is a human right and that unity is the key to social and economic justice for all. The second film is about the service sector economy and the young people who work in it – the McJob economy.

The evening will also include Jeff Johnson, President of Washington State Labor Council, speaking about how unions continue to champion the rights of all workers, organized or not. Finally, there will be a panel of young activists including Anita Nath – Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans, Alex Stone – Economic Opportunity Institute and WA Yell (Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders), and Kamaria Hightower—WSLC and WA YELL. The panel will talk about the importance of organizing and the need for involvement in the struggle for a fair and safe workplace as well as respect for workers and adequate compensation.

As labor is vilified in some political circles, join us for an evening to learn about the importance of unions. They brought us child labor laws and a 40 hour, 5 day work week. What is happening with them today?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Hello world!

Bringing It Home – A Skagit Human Rights Festival

8th Annual – March 2011

Art* Film*Community

at Skagit Valley College and the Lincoln Theatre

Keep checking here for updates on this year’s Festival and related events. Please email us with questions at:

skagithrf(at) gmail(dot)com

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments