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Our priority areas for 2016-17

by pjals Friday, Nov 27, 2015 | 1:13pm | Comment on this

As determined by our member priority survey responses and our Steering Committee!

  1.  A Just Society: Smart Justice and Police Accountability
  2. Peace: Truth in Recruitment, Consciousness-Raising about Militarism, and Mobilizing against War!
  3. Human Rights Community Organizing: Building collective power with targeted communities.
  4. Ending the Death Penalty in Washington as our top legislative priority.

Exposing & transforming systems of violence & oppression to create beloved community and build a just and nonviolent world.


Supporting Spokane’s Trans* Community

by pjals Monday, Feb 2, 2015 | 4:16pm | Comment on this

trans* flagI was shocked and saddened to learn of the physical attack on a trans* woman on West Main on Friday night, sending her to the hospital. An attack anywhere is unacceptable but I find myself especially troubled by an attack taking place across the street from our offices and in a business whose owners have gone out of their way to support equality, the freedom to marry, and the recognition of everyone’s full humanity.

Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane joins our community’s good wishes for the victim’s quick recovery and full well-being. We also join the call for a full investigation and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice quickly. Read more »

The Intersections of Us

by pjals Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 | 12:12pm | Comment on this

Shar Lichtyby Shar Lichty

At the end of July I was fortunate to attend the Activists Mobilizing for Power (AMP) Conference put on each year by Western States Center in Portland. I have been wanting to attend this conference  for four years and this year all the forces were in alignment to make it happen.

I have a lot of respect for the work Western States Center does, particularly in the areas of racial and queer equity. As I found myself surrounded by 400 like-minded individuals at a conference that offered several workshops on how to advance this work, had gender neutral restrooms, and a plenary on the gender binary, I felt at home.

One of the most moving experiences I had during my three days at AMP happened at a film screening for All of Us North Carolina, a documentary about queer people of color who fought against NC’s Amendment One, which stripped domestic partners of their civil rights. Read more »

August Claims

by pjals Friday, Aug 2, 2013 | 3:15pm | Comment on this

The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. … If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, … want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. …. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.

— Frederick Douglass,  Letter to an abolitionist associate, 1849

Things I learned at Pride

by pjals Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 | 3:15pm | 2 comments

photo credit OUTSIDEMediaby Liz Moore

In keeping with our role for over two decades, PJALS peacekeepers were at Spokane’s Pride Celebration on June 8. These are four reflections on my experience this year.

Things I learned at Pride #1: some things haven’t changed. The threat from one anti protestor was the same as I was threatened with when I told a fellow Deer Park 2nd grader in probably 1980 that I didn’t believe in a god: “Repent, or you’ll burn in the lake of fire.”

Things I learned at Pride #2: Some things REALLY CHANGE ALOT: Read more »

Freedom to Marry: Victory!!!

by Shar Lichty Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 | 1:13pm | Comment on this

Spokane couples celebrate their marriage licenses! Photo: INBA by Shar Lichty

We made history on Nov. 6th, becoming the first state to defend the freedom to marry at the ballot by 53.32% to 46.68%. We were an important part of a historical night for LGBT rights and recognition nationally.

None of this would have been possible without a campaign dedicated to organizing in Eastern Washington. We had significant gains in Eastern WA support from R71 to R74 with the three largest gains being: Garfield County, 5.89% increase; Whitman County, 5.14% increase; and Spokane County, 4.48% increase. The City of Spokane also saw a significant 4.37% increase with the larger gains coming from the more conservative districts: District 1, 3.09% increase and District 3, 6.37% increase.

Spokane played another key role in Approving R74 with 16 faith leaders publicly endorsing the freedom to marry.  Read more »

Why Marriage Matters: LGBT People of Color Discuss the Freedom to Marry for All Loving Couples

by Lucy Vazquez Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012 | 9:21pm | Comment on this
why marriage matters panelists

Standing, from left: Terrie Ashby-Scott (moderator), Ramon Alvarez, Farand Gunnels, Marvo Reguindin, Sandy Williams, Renika Williams. Seated, from left: Rev. Happy Watkins, Lucy Vazquez, OJ Coates

by Lucy Vazquez

As the November election approaches and ballots are being filled out, it’s important to bring up conversations about LGBT communities’ rights and that no one should face discrimination when they hope to marry the person they love.

PJALS teamed up with Why Marriage Matters Washington to organize an event that focused on engaging in the conversation among communities of color about the freedom to marry. The East Central Community Center was filled with love, laughter, tears, and reflection as it became a safe space for a dialogue with great leaders of our communities who shared their personal stories as gay, lesbian, and two spirit people as well as allies showing their support to all loving couples.

This event was so powerful it touched my heart and made me reflect on my life; I didn’t realized how much I could relate to their stories. Read more »

Why Marriage Matters: LGBT People of Color Discuss the Freedom to Marry for All Loving Couples

by pjals Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 | 5:17pm | Comment on this

wedding ringsAs the November election approaches, this event will lift up the visibility of LGBT people of color and leaders of communities of color who are allies for the freedom to marry. No one should face discrimination when they hope to marry the person they love.

Panelists will include Sandy Williams, Stanley Ruiz, Marvo Reguindin, and Ramon Alvarez sharing their stories as gay, lesbian, and two spirit people of color; and Rev. Happy Watkins, MEChA leader and PJALS intern Lucia Vazquez, and other community leaders speaking as supporters of the freedom to marry for all loving couples. Join us Saturday, October 20, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone.  Read more »