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You’re invited to join our Showing Up for Racial Justice committee to get involved! Through working closely with accountability partners who are leaders in communities oppressed by racism, we identify campaigns and needs to support in Spokane while also doing the work of educating white people about our collective role in maintaining systems of race-based violence and the potential to take a new role in dismantling them. SURJ meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month from 5:30-7:00 pm in the mezzanine conference room of the Community Building, 35 W. Main.
In our work for racial justice, our top priorities are:
* organizing to end mass incarceration and racial disparities in our local criminal justice system, holding law enforcement accountable and ending the death penalty in Washington, with our partners in Smart Justice Spokane, a broad coalition of over 30 organizations working together to end mass incarceration and eliminate racial disparities in our local criminal justice system. We organize and mobilize together for effective, restorative solutions that are driven by the experiences and needs of those impacted by the criminal justice system. The recovery and integration of those caught up in the criminal justice process is essential for a strong, healthy, and just community.
* supporting and protecting immigrant communities with our partners in the Spokane Immigrant Rights Coalition and Greater Spokane Progress, including our Undocumented Immigrant Legal Defense Fund – learn more about the fund here!
PJALS’ Young Activist Leaders Program offers workshops for skill-building and political education. Learn more here!
Our annual Peace and Justice Action Conference offers more than 20 workshops and speakers – it’s Education for Action!
Grass-Roots Organizing Workshops (GROW), offered throughout the year, are opportunities for everyday people to reflect on our experiences, deepen our analysis, learn new skills and information, and prepare to organize for peace and justice through practice and planning!
Why Race Matters: History, Systems, and Strategies workshops are offered by PJALS staff as members of the Racial Equity Trainers Cohort coordinated by Greater Spokane Progress. Learn more here and contact Greater Spokane Progress directly.
PJALS members have led our region’s opposition of US militarism for 40 years! We stand together in spring rain, summer heat and smoke and winter cold to tell the truth about the need to grow beyond militarism and stop our endless wars. We connect the dots between out-of-control military spending and cuts to lifeline programs for struggling families. We recognize and work to illuminate the deep connections between militarism, colonialism, structural and ideological white supremacy, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism, both nationally and world-wide.
We believe that all human, financial, and community costs of war are unacceptable. As an organization dedicated to building a just and nonviolent world, PJALS opposes the billions our country spends on war and militarism and its devastating impact on our national and local economies. We oppose our country’s devotion to the twin “sacred cows” of tax loopholes for corporations and the super-wealthy and a bloated military budget. This devotion has led to disastrous cuts to education, health care, and basic human services and has reduced resources for the needs of low-income individuals and families. For all individuals to thrive, our country must commit to inclusive democracy and reject exploitation and violence in all forms.
In 2018-2019 we have a commitment to develop our stand for peace and to redefine our international peace and human rights work in the context of the Trump-Pence administration’s volatile escalation of militarism, anti-Muslim bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism.
The Peace and Justice Action Committee focuses on this commitment. You are invited to join the committee on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month at 5:30pm in the Community Building, 35 W. Main.
In the traditions of Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, Dorothy Day, Utah Philips, and millions of people all over the world, our work for justice and peace is founded in principles and practice of active nonviolence.
As a way to practice our commitment to effective nonviolent action for peace and justice, PJALS holds Peacekeeper Trainings where participants learn nonviolent de-escalation techniques to help make for successful demonstrations. After completing the training, volunteers are eligible to join our Peacekeeper Team for specific events.
If you are interested in requesting a training on nonviolent de-escalation for successful demonstrations, please contact PJALS Organizer Shar Lichty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in a PJALS Peacekeeper Team for a demonstration you are planning, please know it usually takes at least a three-week turnaround to schedule and organize a training for new Peacekeepers and at least two weeks lead time to organize a group of volunteers as a Peacekeeper Team.
A community marching band, the P-Jammers, or PJAMRS is acronym for Peace and Justice Musical Rascals of Spokane. Loosely affiliated with the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS), PJAMRS fancy ourselves as part of the HONK band movement. See honkfest.org and honkfestwest.com for more info. As such, membership is open to musicians of all levels with an emphasis on fun and doing the right thing. We play at public celebrations, marches and rallies, or just for the heck of it.