Participants occupy a table for a family and personal papers session during the 2017 Kent We Are History Keepers Workshop. COURTESY PHOTO, Ethnic Heritage Council

Participants occupy a table for a family and personal papers session during the 2017 Kent We Are History Keepers Workshop. COURTESY PHOTO, Ethnic Heritage Council

Third annual We Are History Keepers Kent Workshop set for Saturday

Compelling, even foretelling, fact-supported history needs to be told and explained from those who have experienced it.

Individuals and families of many colors and cultures who have lived throughout the Pacific Northwest has at some form or another a piece of history to share with others.

The History Keepers want to hear from you to help make that exchange possible.

The effort – led by the Ethnic Heritage Council (EHC) of the Pacific Northwest with the University of Washington Libraries – is designed to help share and preserve storied family history and ethnic community heritage in the Northwest. The council, a nonprofit educational organization, supplies the outreach and the UW brings the expertise to workshops throughout the area.

The History Keepers come to Kent on Saturday for a day of sessions at the Kent Commons. It is free and open to the public.

“What we are really trying to emphasis is the fact that anybody who is living in the Northwest … there is an experience that is local,” said Rosanne Royer, EHC president. “And they are making history, even as they live in their neighborhoods, where they go to church, where they go to work, problems that they have in society, government, whatever it is. They are living history. They are having this local experience that really needs to be part of the story of the Northwest.

“People do know a lot about themselves, their history, traditions,” she said. “But we can lead them to helpful resources, to get this local story down and be a part of Northwest history.”

The workshop goes beyond genealogy and shows how individuals, families and ethnic groups can record their experiences, write local history and find helpful resources. It will offer tools, techniques and resources for keeping records, caring for personal, family and community papers, organizing photos and audio/visual collections, books and other collections, as well as help those determine what materials are worth saving.

In essence, the council – through workshops – wants to advance communication and understanding among ethnic communities; encourage and facilitate documentation of local ethnic histories and cultural heritage activities; and maintain a clearinghouse of information concerning ethnic groups and their activities.

Workshops presented elsewhere have been worthwhile and rewarding, Royer said. Kent, like other cities just outside of Seattle, is “am amazingly” diverse place filled with ethnic heritage and history to examine.

“The gatherings have been very diverse,” Royer said. “People who are unlikely to be together are spending a long period time sitting around the table, talking about something they have in common that can be apolitical.

“They have a most pleasant experience, which is the goal behind the forming of the Heritage Council,” Royer said. “Getting people together who are unlikely to be together because everyone is too busy in their own communities (is challenging), but there’s much to be learned from each other.”


Third annual We Are History Keepers Kent Workshop

The Ethnic Heritage Council, the Greater Kent Historical Society with University of Washington Libraries and 4Culture present the workshop – Preserving the Cultural and Historical Records of Your Ethnic Communities, Organizations, and Families.

• Saturday, Oct. 12, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Kent Commons, 525 Fourth Ave. N.

Sessions include:

• Sorting and preserving your organization’s paper and digital records

• Preserving family and personal records and book collections

• Organizing and preserving photos, films and audio/visual collections

• Researching and promoting family and community history through oral history interviews, exhibits and other special projects.

Note: Women from the Japanese-American community in the Kent area will conduct an afternoon session.

Ethnic lunch will be available for a suggested $15 cash donation.

Free admission, but please register at or 253-854-4330.

For more information, visit and

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