SpokaneFAVS board member Melissa Carpenter leads a discussion about where SpokaneFAVS is going/Tracy Simmons - SpokaneFAVS

Notes on the SpokaneFAVS open meeting

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By Tracy Simmons

On Wednesday evening the SpokaneFAVS board of trustees held its first public meeting to re-cap the past year and to discuss the organization’s future plans.

missionThe meeting began with attendees sharing how they and got involved with SpokaneFAVS, and what the site means to them. Meaningful discussions, interfaith enthusiasm, learning about Spokane’s houses of worship and events happening around town were some of the reasons cited.

Almost one year ago SpokaneFAVS split from its national partners at Religion News LLC and became an independent, local publication. In that year SpokaneFAVS has formed a board of trustees (currently serving as an advisory board), began the legal process of becoming a Spokane-based nonprofit organization, increased its number of writers (currently 53), has provided internships to local journalism students, has raised $14,000, re-designed its website and was named the best online niche publication in the country by the Local Media Association.

SpokaneFAVS has also successfully continued its popular monthly Coffee Talks, mixers, recently began a Pub Theology event and is planning the 2015 Faith Feast.

At the meeting the board called for volunteers, specifically for planning Coffee Talks, mixers, Faith Feast and Pub Theology, though volunteers are needed in many other areas as well.

listAlso at the meeting the 20 attendees discussed whether or not SpokaneFAVS is living its mission, and how it could improve. The mission reads:

SpokaneFAVS provides non-sectarian coverage of religion, spirituality and ethics in the Inland Northwest. We promote dialogue through online journalism and community engagement opportunities.

Suggestions included writing my journalistic articles, fundraising, spreading the word about SpokaneFAVS and much more (see image).

If you would like to help SpokaneFAVS grow, or would like to learn more about how to get involved in this organization, call (509) 240-1830 or email tracysimmons@spokanefavs.com.


Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Lecture of Strategic Communication at the University of Idaho.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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