PJALS 2021 Action Conference – No Turning Back: Radical Progress and Collective Liberation

Join us for the 2021 PJALS Action Conference on September 16th & 18th, 2021. The two day event will kick-off with an Intergenerational Panel Thursday evening and continue on Saturday with virtual workshops on a variety of topics. Hear from local and national activist leaders including our keynote speaker, Ian Haney López, one of the founders of the Race-Class Academy. 



Registration covers both events and access to recordings of all workshops following the conference.
Thursday September 16: Kick-Off Intergenerational Panel – 7:00pm

Moderator: PJALS Youth Organizer Ivy Pete. Panelists: Lili Navarrete from Planned Parenthood and Raiz, youth leader Jada Richardson, and Toni Lodge from the Native Project. We’re eager to hear perspectives and lessons learned on the topic of our theme: No Turning Back: Radical Progress and Collective Liberation. What does collective liberation mean? What transformations are required – structural and personal? What does it take to maintain progress when we gain ground?

Saturday September 18: Conference – 9:30am – 4:00pm

9:30-10:00    Opening Performance and Welcome
10:00-11:15  Workshop Session 1

  • Building Internationalism Across Our Movements with Phyllis Bennis, Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and Transnational Institute
  • Fighting Antisemitism through Solidarity: A Justice-Based Approach with Ben Lorber, Research Analyst, Political Research Associates
  • Creative Strategies for Navigating “the End of the World” with Beverly Naidus

11:30-12:45  Workshop Session 2

  • Challenging Racism in U.S. Foreign Policy Through Grassroots Advocacy with Sarah Freeman-Woolport and Hassan El-Tayyab, with Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
  • The Struggle Over Critical Race Theory: What’s at Stake? with Gonzaga University Professor Yasaman Naraghi, Spokane Public Schools Teacher Ward Scott, and moderator Bill Aal
  • Redistricting and the Attack on Democracy with Ann Murphy from League of Women Voters and Liz Moore from Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane

12:45-1:30    Lunch Break
1:30-2:30      Keynote Plenary – Speaker Ian Haney Lopez: Race-Class Academy

2:30-3:45      Workshop Session 3

  • Countering White Nationalism with staff from Western States Center
  • Race-Class Praxis with Ian Haney Lopez
  • Engaging Youth for Grassroots Organizing: Strategies, Struggles, and Successes with Sarah Hegde and Ivy Pete, Youth Organizers with Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane

3:45-4:00      Closing Plenary

                  Click here for Workshop Descriptions and Presenter Bios

Keynote Speaker

Ian Haney López will be the keynote speaker for our 12th Annual Peace & Justice Action Conference, No Turning Back: Radical Progress and Collective Liberation! Ian teaches and writes about race and law at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Public Law. He currently focuses on the use of racism as a class weapon in electoral politics, and on how to respond. Through more than a decade of research, deep surveys, and message testing, he has shown what kinds of racial messages will divide voters—and what kinds of messages will unify across those divisions to build the broadest coalition. His most recent research focuses on Latino voters. Ian is the author of Dog Whistle Politics (2014) as well as Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America (2019).

Race-Class Praxis (Ian Haney López)

The race-class approach promotes a paradigm change in how activists conceptualize and in turn communicate the core questions that shape citizen participation: Who am I in society? Who threatens me? Who are my allies? And like any paradigm change, internalizing race-class insights requires practicing its application in different contexts. This workshop helps participants ask these key questions of themselves, while also practicing how they might frame race-class issue campaigns.

Thank you to our 2021 Action Conference sponsors: Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington & Northern Idaho, Whitworth University Office of Student Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, UFCW Local 21, UFCW Local 1439, LINC Foods, Western States Center, ACLU-WA, SEIU 1199NW, Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, Inland Northwest Unitarian Universalist Community, Gonzaga University on behalf of the Robert K. and Ann J. Powers Chair of Humanities Endowment, EWU Women’s and Gender Education Center, JustLead Washington, Spokane Regional Labor Council AFL-CIO, United Way/Excelerate Success, Greater Spokane Progress, 350 Spokane, and the Tenants Union of Washington!