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Debbie Selzer: Why I support FāVS


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By Matthew Kincanon

Please considering joining Debbie Selzer in supporting this project. Your monthly, tax-deductible donations, keep the conversations going.

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Debbie Selzer is the board president of SpokaneFāVS — a digital journalism organization that covers religion news and commentary in the Spokane area. She donates her time to the organization and contributes financially and she hopes that you too will support FāVS.

Selzer said she got involved in 2012 after receiving a flier announcing the launch of the organization’s website.

“I kind of shoved it [flier] into my bag, didn’t really think about it too much,” Selzer said, “but it did interest me because I have always kind of had an informal interest in interfaith dialogue.”

Debbie Selzer

However, a month later, Selzer pulled the flier from her bag and showed it to her then boss, John VanDerWalker, at Community of Christ Inland West Mission Center, and both met with Editor Tracy Simmons to discuss the website.

Selzer then became a reader and commenter on the organization’s website, and would attend the Coffee Talks that were held where she enjoyed the interactions at the events.

“From there, I just kind of increased my interest to the point where I kind of responded to a call Tracy had put out that they were looking for additional board members,” she said.

The reason why Selzer gives time and money to the organization, she said, is because she has seen what it has accomplished and what it is looking to accomplish in the future.

“I find it to be a really great mix of good journalism, good columns on the site with really good promotion via social media,” she said.  “But the key thing being that we also have that element bringing the conversation to the community.”

When she saw these elements come together, Selzer said it impressed her and that the organization was something she wanted to spend time helping out and financing.

“I know that I can see from my work with the board that they’re using their resources really well, they’re good stewards of the resources and the money that they get,” she said.  “Also, I feel like they are good decision makers on how they process issues that come up.”

Selzer added that she is impressed with how everything works with the organization and that she has been fortunate to be able to have more of insight with being on the board of trustees.

“When it comes time for me to think about what I’m gonna do with my time and my money, it’s going to be organizations like this that I feel confident and that I feel like they’re making the good choices for their readers and for the volunteers that are on-board.”

Selzer said what she liked most about the organization is how multi-leveled it is where it has both local and national news and has a “really good social media plan to promote that content.”

“To me, the biggest benefit to FāVS, is that it encourages people to talk together,” she said. “And when you get that kind of connection and you get that dialogue going, it can really promote understanding.”

She added that because the organization covers information from a variety of groups with different faith and values, it finds commonalities and understands those differences.

Whether it is through writing articles, reading them, commenting on them, or meeting face-to-face with people at Coffee Talks and other events, Selzer said the best way to find commonalities and understanding differences is through generating dialogue.

“It [SpokaneFaVS] has a proven track record of helping people be able to express the tenets of their faith, it’s helped people understand the tenets of other people’s faiths,” she said, “and it really serves as a model for an organization that can open its doors to a variety of different viewpoints.”

Please considering joining Selzer in supporting this project. Your monthly, tax-deductible donations, keep the conversations going.

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Matthew Kincanon
Matthew Kincanon
Matthew Kincanon is a former Digital Content Producer with a journalism and political science degree from Gonzaga University. His journalism experience includes the Gonzaga Bulletin, The Spokesman-Review, Art Chowder magazine and SpokaneFāVS. He said he is excited to be a freelancer at SpokaneFāVS because, as a Spokane native, he wants to learn more about the various religious communities and cultures in his hometown.


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