Staff and Steering Committee

Staff

Sarah Hegde
Youth Organizer

Sarah Hegde is a freshman at Lewis and Clark High School. She got involved with Young Activists Leaders Program (YALP) in January of 2019 and then went on to graduate in June of that year. In October, she was brought on staff and now co-coordinates YALP with Taylor Weech. Sarah enjoys playing volleyball, being in the LC band, spending time with her family, and most of all, being an organizer.  

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Shar Lichty
Development Coordinator

Shar is the Development Coordinator at the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane. She received her BASW with a minor in Africana Education from EWU in June 2010. Following an internship and a year as an AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteer with PJALS, Shar joined the PJALS staff as Organizer in 2012. Shar was first introduced to PJALS in 2006 when the human rights club at SCC that she was involved with co-sponsored a death penalty awareness event with PJALS. That event directly led to Shar's commitment to work on social justice issues. Shar moved into the Development Coordinator position in 2020.

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Liz Moore
Director

Liz is the director of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, where she began her activism in PJALS' youth group as a Deer Park high school student after looking up “peace” in the phone book. She worked as an organizer and educator in unions and community groups on issues including marriage equality, racial justice, and worker rights before returning to the organization that helped shape and define her work as a young activist. She is passionate about grassroots leadership development and supporting youth as leaders. In all that she does, Liz holds fast to the belief that everyday people have the power to build a just and nonviolent world.

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Adrian Murillo
Organizer

Solitude and community, love and outrage, joy and fear, inspiration and despair, nature and culture, music and writing, resistance and acceptance, anarchist freedom and social commitment, funk and grace; these are the polarities that have defined my life since my barrio childhood in Southern California during the civil rights movement and anti-Vietnam War years, forming a continuous loop, a circuit pumped by my heart. Through years of personal and political struggled, I have learned the best way to keep these polarities from degenerating into paralyzing contradiction is to keep the faith by staying engaged in the movement for socio-economic justice through activism, organizing, dialogue and study, social services employment, performance art. This has become my life’s work both strategic and improvisational much in the way jazz musicians think, compose, and perform.

I am first and foremost down with the poor and working-class of all colors, backgrounds. We are not a burden on the world nor an enigma as the political servants of the ruling class often portray us. We are the world, her hands and heart, soul and spirit, the first responders, sung and unsung, the caregivers, cleaners, cooks, stewards, teachers, builders, farmers and farm workers, healers, intellects, poets, musicians, and artists. We keep the world functioning and turning.

But I am also moved by love for all people and life forms. Love as respect for our diverse yet entwined humanity. Everyone is beautiful when we communicate heart to heart. The hardest yet best struggle is reaching that level of shared, brave vulnerability when we see ourselves in others.

As others have noted and researched, the cruel optimism of the American dream is we end up pursuing the things that are the very obstacles to our flourishing, pursue money instead of knowledge to help us navigate the vicissitudes of life, pursue feeling good instead of doing good, privilege rather than empowerment. I had my awakening about all this 25 years ago and re-committed to justice work and social services more consciously, with intention, joining others in fighting anti-gay hate campaigns, anti-union campaigns, anti-racist movements in California and throughout the Pacific Northwest. We have reached a tipping point in America where more and more people are realizing, as Snoop Dog recently said he did, it is not enough to talk about it, we’ve got to BE about it. This is my aspiration, to help others in that transformative shift to better work together in creating, midwifing, a just and equitable world that also stays faithful to the earth. A world where the poor and working-class and, by extension, everyone else, no longer deny themselves a life in order to survive but can move forward on an obstacle-free path to flourish and live life to their fullest, personal, potential.

Ivy Pete
Youth Organizer

Ivy is a young Indigenous activist, born and raised in Spokane. She is deeply involved in youth advocacy and equity work through the numerous boards and organizations she is privileged to serve on. Ivy attends North Central High School. She is the president of the NC Shades Multicultural club and enjoys engaging in work that requires discussions between administration and students. She also works part time at City Hall as Legislative Assistant to Council Member Burke.

Her recent projects include Menstrual Hygiene Equity and Accessibility in Public Schools, securing menstrual hygiene products for students in Spokane Public Schools; retiring the North Central Indians Mascot, educating and lobbying to end the systematic racism associated with an Indian Mascot; and Bower Climbing Coalition Equity and Inclusion initiative, working with community leaders to get BIPOC Youth engaged in outdoor recreation.

“I am stoked to join this powerful team of leaders and organizers in Spokane that have been central to my development as an activist. I look forward to meeting and working with you all!”

Steering Committee

Bill Aal

Bill is deeply involved in social and environmental justice work with a particular focus on agricultural sustainability and social healing. With Tools for Change, he has been providing consulting, facilitation, mediation and training services for over 25 years. Versed in opening the imagination, awakening people’s best thinking and inspiring group transformation, Aal works with group reflection to unleash collective genius in organizational settings. A former manager in the non-profit and information technology worlds, he co-founded Riseup.net to build computer-based communications networks for activists. Aal has developed accessible networking tools and trainings in social analysis and use of the web for community organizing, empowering individuals who traditionally have not had access to these tools.  Currently he works with his wife, Elle McSharry, in a project called Dream Transformation. Bill is a member of PJALS’ Fundraising and Sustainability Committee.

Naghmana Ahmed-Sherazi

Naghmana Ahmed-Sherazi moved to Spokane in 2012 with her son. Coming from a huge bustling metropolis like Houston with its varied and diverse micro-cultural communities, she finds it interesting to see people's reactions when they met her or her son since moving to Spokane. She welcomes any questions about her faith, culture, ethnicity, race, language and education. She has so far loved living in Spokane with its four seasons and unique landscape. Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, she has had the good fortune of travelling since an early age and has been educated on four different continents, and considers herself a global citizen. Naghmana is an active member of the Spokane Islamic Center, Spokane Women Together, Muslims for Community Action and Support, Asian Pacific Islander Coalition – Spokane, and other organizations. Naghmana was the co-chair of No Discrimination Spokane, the coalition that defeated the anti-immigrant profiling initiative in 2017.

Jac Archer

Jac Archer (they/them/theirs) moved to the Spokane area in 2013 where they work as an activist, community organizer, and educator in the fields of diversity, equity, civic engagement, and sexuality. They first became involved with PJALS in 2015, graduating from the Young Activist Leaders Program (YALP) in 2016.

Jac has delivered lectures and training workshops throughout the community, including Whitworth University, and has previously served on panels at Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga.

Jac currently serves on the Spokane Community Against Racism (SCAR) Steering Committee, the Peace and Justice Action League (PJALS) board, Spokane Human Rights Commission, and the Washington State LGBTQ Commission.

Jac has a passion for community organizing, institutional policy and making difficult concepts easily accessible. They also enjoy writing, singing, performance, and podcasts.

Michaela Brown

Michaela (pronouns she/her) is a deeply curious, over thinking, heart in hand lover of people and history. Her background in collective impact organizing and commitment to advancing a world where everyone belongs has led her to serve in many community capacities focused on advancing individual and collective learning around diversity, equity, and inclusion (which includes her role as the Director of Community Learning for Excelerate Success, an education equity partnership, and in her roles as a race equity facilitator). Her formal education in history and leadership studies combined with her passion for multi-cultural education, identity development, and community healing has brought her to the JustLead Team ready to grow with and cheer on change makers across Washington state.

As a multi-racial woman, Michaela finds power in the ability to hold the complexities of our interconnected lives and leans on the mantra by adrienne maree brown: “Where we are born into privilege we are charged to unlearn any myth of supremacy, where we are born into struggle, we are charged with claiming or dignity, joy and liberation.” Emboldened by the brilliance of our ancestors as well as modern revolutionaries, Michaela in her wholeness seeks to cultivate learning spaces that are relational and transformative.

Ayaka Dohi
Co-Chair

Ayaka graduated from Gonzaga University in 2013 and from PJALS’ Young Activist Leaders Program in 2016. She is the Director for Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Whitworth University. Ayaka is a member of PJALS’ Fundraising and Sustainability Committee.

Fitz Fitzpatrick

Fitz, who also goes by Emerald, is a performance poet based out of Spokane Washington where their mission is to fall in love with strangers through the written and spoken word. They were a member of the 2015 and 2016 Spokane National Poetry Slam teams and are representing Spokane in the 2016 Individual World Poetry Slam. Other than hosting they have been featured as a poet in the Spokane LGBT Pride and numerous social justice events. In their “spare time” they run a weekly poetry open mic called “Broken Mic,” roll around on sidewalks with local cats and practice changing the world through compassion and actually laughing out loud. Fitz has been involved with PJALS since 2011 and graduated from the first year of the Young Activist Leaders Program. They are especially passionate about empowering youth, lgbt rights and using art for activism. Fitz was the lead Theomusicologist for the Washington Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival in 2018. They host the annual Poetry for Peace benefit for the Spokane Slam Poetry Team and PJALS.

Ami Manning
Chair

Ami lives in Spokane with her two sons, Holden and Indiana, and her partner Ken. She has been the Program Director of Transitions Miryam’s House since July 2014. Ami holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and has worked and volunteered in homeless and housing services for the last 18 years. Prior to Transitions, she worked for St. Vincent de Paul of North Idaho for 11 years; most recently directing the Transitional Housing Programs. She has also volunteered for social, gender and economic justice. She has a deep commitment to communities of inclusion. Ami is a member of PJALS’ Fundraising and Sustainability Committee.

Yasi Naraghi

Yasi Naraghi is a graduate of University of Washington, having received her PhD in 2018. Her scholarship focuses on ethics and totalitarian regimes, making her eager to talk at length about fascism and anti-fascist movements. She moved to Spokane two years ago to teach at Gonzaga.

Heather Wallace
Secretary

Heather is currently a Project Manager at Spokane Regional Health District and focuses on increasing equitable policies, systems and environments for families and children in Spokane County. As an unabashed feminist and social justice warrior, Heather is especially interested in social and economic policies that recognize the unpaid labor of women in our society and eliminating the ways in which power and violence are used against women. Heather has previously worked in the fields of child advocacy and a restorative justice juvenile corrections program. Heather has degrees in Sociology from Whitman College and a Master’s in Communication and Leadership studies with research in community dialogue from Gonzaga but yearns to finish her interrupted law degree one day. Heather has lived in all of the Pacific Northwest states and moved back to Spokane in 2002 with her three daughters. In 2020 she welcomed a granddaughter to the family-the newest feminist to take on the world! In her free time Heather loves to travel around the world learning about other cultures and food, reading and writing.

Sally Winkle

Sally is a professor emerita from Eastern Washington University. She has lived in Spokane since 1983, and has been involved in social justice activities for many years, with the Central America Solidarity Association in the 1980s, and later with PJALS. Sally was the director of Women's and Gender Studies at EWU until her retirement in 2018.  With other faculty and staff, she co-founded the Activist in Residence Program at EWU, which is designed to help students get involved in activism and community organizing. Liz Moore was our first Activist in Residence in 2014 and 2015, followed by a variety of local activists up to the present. Sally is a member of the Fundraising and Sustainability Committee.

Jasper Zillmer

Jasper Zillmer is a local artist and activist focused on change. A graduate of PJALS' Young Activist Leaders Program in 2014, and a participant in Odyssey Youth Center's youth leadership board in 2012-2014, he loves discussing different ideas, viewpoints and what we can do differently. They were also a member of the GSA network of the greater Spokane area, in 2014, helping to establish safe spaces in schools for lgbtq youth. Born and raised in Spokane he is focused on giving back, creating sustainable change, and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. He enjoys spending his time reading, writing at home, or taking pictures, with or without his many animal friends.