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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cultural Conversations comes to City Hall on Feb. 1

Community event will focus on themes of "becoming and belonging"

The City of Bellevue's Cultural Conversations group will host a special communitywide evening presentation on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 7-9 p.m., at City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE. The program, introduced through stories shared by residents, will explore how pushing outside of one's comfort zone can increase self-awareness, empower and create a sense of connection to others. The event is free and open to the public.

"Cultural Conversations acts as a catalyst, allowing people to come forward and share something about themselves they wouldn't have an opportunity to do elsewhere," said Barb Tuininga, the manager of Mini City Hall and co-manager of the program. "We're very excited about our annual event in City Hall. The response from the community is always positive."

The night will kick off with five storytellers, followed by small group discussions. Topics to be discussed range from social and cultural isolation, to acceptance of others to building bridges within a diverse and changing community. The featured storytellers are:

The Power of a Young Person's Voice
Ronaldo, an 8th grader and a resident of the Highland Village Apartments where families were at risk of losing their homes last summer, will share the role he played in an unprecedented turn of events.

Personal Risk and Unexpected Outcomes
Susan engaged in diversity work in the community and took a risk that had an unexpected outcome. She will share the power of a "do over" and what she gained as a result.

The Real Barrier is Invisible
Amin, the son of Pakistani immigrants whose experience being in a wheelchair kept him from having a normal social life, will speak about the journey that turned his life around and guided him to help others.

Achieving Goals by First Being Myself
Jiajun arrived from China at age 15 and enrolled at Sammamish High School, intent on learning English quickly to achieve his dreams. He overcame challenges and supported new immigrant students to succeed.

Finding Home
Claire and Eddy, first-generation immigrants, are raising young children and opening a new community café, the culmination of their values and dreams. Their adventurous approach to life is an inspiration.

This event is recommended for men and women age 13 and up, and open to all abilities, cultures and faiths. Visitor parking is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information and accommodation needs, please RSVP and contact NeighborhoodOutreach@bellevuewa.gov, 425-452-6836.

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