The Blogful of Salt
The Transformational Impact of The Calling Us All In Workshop
by Bailey Russell
Bailey is a new intern at PJALS
I went to this event not really knowing what to expect. My aura was the same as the weather—glum, dark and rainy. I was enmeshed in a plethora of non-consequential things that I wasn’t treating as such. I was just feeling lost. I needed guidance. Most of all I needed healing. That’s exactly what I found that night at the workshop.
It started out much different than I expected—we were tasked to place ourselves at different sides of the room depending on how we identified with questions asked of us. Starting out with this activity really opened up everyone in the room. We began somewhat closed off. I could feel the tension as we started, because we were all different people from different backgrounds talking about something that makes us all, collectively, uncomfortable—race. Read more »
One White Woman’s Thoughts on the Recent Anti-racism Workshop
by Sara, workshop participant
It’s hard to know what to do about racism. As a white person, the whole systemic institutionalization of racism and slavery in our prison industrial complex and in our police stations and courts (and media and neighborhoods and homes and brains) seems so enormous. What can one person do when so many people before me—smarter and more capable—haven’t seemed to make a dent?
This is the state of mind I was in, as a middle-aged burned out activist, when I sat down at the table for the PJALS Anti Racism Workshop on October 6th. Read more »
Transformational Organizing for Social Change: Calling Us All In WORKSHOP
All Saints Lutheran Church, 314 S Spruce St # A
Thursday, Oct 13th 5:30pm-8:00pm
- PJALS members and Living Lightly – Free
- General Public – $10
The key to movement building for the long haul is changing hearts and minds,and we are in an exciting consciousness-raising moment where people are trying to find their political home in the movement for justice. In this workshop we will use interactive exercises, share tools, and collectively brainstorm how we can engage our friends, neighbors, community leaders, and allies in challenging conversations that lead to meaningful action and transformation.
5:30 Snacks & Gather
6:00 Prompt Start of Workshop!
Workshop Facilitator: Jessica Campbell is a national leader of Showing Up for Racial Justice and co-director of Oregon’s Rural Organizing Project. She has worked with some of the most rural communities in Oregon to fight for the commons from post offices to public parks, to support communities on the frontlines of the militia movement, and to envision what healthy and vibrant rural communities could look like.
Organized by the Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane
Presenting Sponsor: Community Building Foundation
A Poet’s Thoughts on Our PJALS Annual Membership Meeting
Hello Peace and Justice advocates,
My name is Fitz and I have been a member of PJALS since I was a teenager and involved in the reincarnation of Young Activist Leaders Program a few years back. I’m also a performance poet locally who writes a lot about social justice and my personal connection to oppression. The annual membership meeting turnout was certainly impressive. The generational demographics that showed up are certainly a testament to PJALS’ accessibility. What especially stood out to me from the night however was the conversation around “Calling in vs. Calling out.” I had vaguely heard this term before and what Adrian and Taylor described put a name to a discomfort I had started to have in activist circles. This was the first categorically “activist” event I had attended in quite some time and lately being very much engrossed in a world outside of my typical “woke” crowd I had started to think about how to make Art that doesn’t just preach to the choir and even before that how to have tough conversations with people who had not had them before. I had started to become a lot more honest with myself in terms of when I was trying to engage someone in compassionate dialogue and when I really just wanted to yell at someone and call them names (which you know is how violence starts, which is the thing that I oppose at a fundamental level). Thanks to the discussion portion of the night I was able to start some fantastic dialogue with, in this case, other young folks about how to deal with folks that make mistakes in a way that helps create actual change and doesn’t compromise our own self care. How do we live out compassionate and nonviolent values in the way we advocate for peace and justice? I hope those of you who attended may take a few minutes out of your day to internally explore your own ideas and emotions and I hope you come to Taylor Weech’s workshop series and potentially explore your thoughts and feelings in public with other humans (including myself!).
Peace and Justice and Love and Poetry to all of you,
A New Intern Meets PJALS Community
By Christina Walden
Last week we had the annual membership meeting for PJALS! It was the first one I have attended as I am a new Intern this year. We had a great turnout of people from many generations and walks of life who came together to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the fight for a just and nonviolent world here in Spokane. The meet and greet portion of the potluck meeting was a great opportunity for me to meet many of the people who support our organization.
The meeting portion was a chance for us to recognize volunteers, share how our different fights are going and go over the financials of the organization. I thought the power point presentation about our causes and activities that played on a loop during the beginning of the meeting was a great way to let people know what has been going on even if they couldn’t stay for the entire meeting.
This may have been my first meeting but it will not be my last. I look forward to being associated with PJALS for many years to come and getting to know more of our members!
Register for “Wake Up & Work” Anti-Racism Workshop Series
Join PJALS steering committee vice-chair Taylor Weech for a series of evening workshops addressing what anti-racist principles look like in practice and planning ways to get more deeply involved as a multicultural coalition of members in identifying and addressing the racial elements of the issues we work on from police oversight to militarism and war. Register (at no cost) here!
Questions for Spokane Police Department Chief Candidates
Submitted on behalf of the Spokane Police Accountability & Reform Coalition on Friday Sept 16 2016. Read more »
Organize, Vote, Act!
By Liz Moore, PJALS Director
Looking ahead, I am beginning to imagine what our work and our role would be living under a Donald Trump presidency or under a Hillary Clinton presidency. As I imagine this, I exhort myself to think like an organizer, which means, consider who will benefit and who will be hurt and how those of us who whose interest is not served can best position ourselves to work together to change the balance of power.
Of course PJALS is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The rules about our work are very clear that we cannot support or oppose any candidate or any party. We can discuss issues and we can work on ballot measures and we can lobby legislators with a limited percentage of our resources. I know that PJALS members are quite capable of reaching their own conclusions about who they prefer to try to influence as President or other elected offices.
We are launching “Vote and Act – Peace and Justice Voter Project” with this issue of our newsletter. Our goals are to encourage our members and supporters to educate themselves, vote, encourage others to vote, and commit to act beyond election day. Read more »