Mission Nonprofit Spotlight: Media Island International

Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Robert Kam sat down with Shawna Hawk, director of Media Island International (MII).

Media Island International is an education, networking and cultural center located in Olympia that focuses on supporting women of color in leadership and empowerment roles. They do this by providing “tools to make individual voices heard, & education to strengthen that voice.”

Shawna founded the Women of Color and Leadership movement to help fulfill that mission. “The fact that we are black-run, black-owned here in Olympia is a big deal, especially now during these times,” says Shawna, who has been with MII since 2014.

For the last 13 years, they have run their own, low power FM radio station, KOWA 106.5 FM. Their radio station offers public affairs programming 24/7, with shows like Media Monarchy, Feminist Magazine, 2/2 Veterans for Peace, Green Power and Wellness, New World Notes, and more. “We have a social justice library there as well, in the cultural center,” Shawna shares, “So when you talk about what’s your future what’s your goals, definitely developing and enhancing the social justice library. We have one section in particular that we really want to expand, which is our graphic novels, so we’ve been connecting with some of the local comic book stores like the Danger Room and Lacey Cards and Comics and building a relationship with them so we can get some of those because they’ve been, especially the Danger Room, been hooking us up with the latest ‘Black Panther’ episodes and the comic books that are focused on social justice, which there are quite a few.”

Another part of their programming, they host guest speakers, movie and documentary screenings and discussions, workshops, and other events in their meeting center. They put on workshops themselves, as well as allowing others to use their space for their own workshops. Recently, they gave a “Equity, Inclusion and Community: Looking at racial issues in our own backyard” for the City of Olympia. “We can develop a workshop based on what your particular organization or group of three or more folks really want to do,” says Shawna, “especially around cultural diversity issues and inclusion.”

Their space has a kitchen, healing room and an outdoor space including gardens for those who want to rent the building for workshops and events that align with the organization’s mission. Events are happening virtually as well as in person.

Volunteers are welcome and they can take interns, work study contracts and community volunteer hours. For more information, watch the full video and visit the Media island International website.

You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.


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