Unity of Community 2019

The past few months have caused many to question the essence of their core community. A shining young person in our community took their own life, immigration raids left families broken, and a murder took the life of a teenager. How do you respond when the most divisive forces of the system are pulling us apart? The Rainier Athletes community chooses to unite.

Unity of Community also known as Comunidad Unida, invites all members from the Rainier Athletes core pillars - students, families, educators, mentors, coaches and community partners- to celebrate the power of community.

The second annual UoC, on April 5th 2019, was remarkable. We saw record attendance from every core pillar, over 300 attendees in total. Support from community partners was at an all time high as Latino Heat volunteered as food runners, YMCA staff registered families for services, and KidsQuest Children Museum brought their show on the road to entertain the youngest members of the community. Bellevue’s Fire Department brought their truck, assistant Chief of Bellevue’s Police Department brought his dance moves, and Bellevue School District Superintendent, Dr. Ivan Duran, delivered a moving keynote address highlighting the importance of forming authentic relationships in order to build a strong community.

Below is an excerpt from the event’s opening speech delivered by Rainier Athletes Executive Director:

The past couple months have shaken our community. And there is no denying the shock and sadness and hurt that ensues whenever a loved one is suddenly taken from us. It disrupts the entire family system and ultimately disrupts the entire community.

The system, whether we ask it to or not, has a way of constantly testing our core beliefs. So, when the forces of the system are pulling us apart how will we respond? Do we turn our backs and ignore it? Do we let go of control and let it take us for ride into the depths of the unknown. Or do we bond together, united, as family?

Simply by being here this evening, you have chosen unity. You have chosen to CELEBRATE the power of togetherness. And this is what Comunidad Unida is all about. Our call to action is community. Tonight we choose love. Tonight we choose to strengthen the bridges that connect us.

Every single member of the Rainier Athletes community here this evening wrote their names on the bridge as a symbol of unity. This bridge represents our collective connectedness. It represents the entire Rainier Athletes community.

I have met most in this room but for those I have not had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Jesse Franklin and I was Rainier Athletes first mentor 6 years ago. Back then this bridge would have had about 10 names on it.  Tonight, hundreds of students, families, educators, coaches mentors and community partners play a vital role in sustaining this bridge. When all of us come on together to ensure that this bridge can hold whatever the system throws our way, we will move forward with strength. It takes the entire community.

Together we are stronger. Together we are ONEteam.

2019 ONETeam Award Winners:

Coach- Currin

Teacher- Freedom

Mentor- Nick & Megan

Students- Jordan, Bhavjot, and Carla

Community Partner- Latino Heat