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Our Community of Action Going Forward Together
by Liz Moore, PJALS Director
What I love most about PJALS is being part of a community of people who take action together based on the connections between human rights, economic justice, & peace.
Our Steering Committee asked you, PJALS members, to guide strategic planning for 2013-2014. We learned that you overwhelmingly support organizing to raise revenue & reject cuts as well as to counter the costs of militarism and to demand money for people, not for war. You’re also passionate about alternatives to incarceration & police accountability. You value that we create community together through our events & campaigns. You strongly support our Young Activist Leaders Program & our interns. You love our Action Conference. You want PJALS to continue to strengthen our connections with communities of color & with rural people.
Why prioritize those areas? Read more »
Our generation has all the potential
Young Activist Leader reflection
By Audrey Connor, Youth Sustainability Council, Community-Minded Enterprises
Thus far into the program, YALP has really helped me understand the context of my thinking as both a semi-organizer and a private citizen. I feel so engaged and impassioned in every discussion, and being able to share my thoughts and opinions freely among like-minded individuals (under the guidance of Shar and Liz) has been a huge gift, especially lately as I figure out what it is I want from my life and experiences.
I am also able to listen to different points of view and have my mind changed often. I really respect my fellow program members, and many of the exercises and discussions we have had have reassured me that our generation has all the potential I tell people it does. I am really, really grateful this program exists.
For more information about PJALS Young Activist Leader Program, visit www.pjals.org/yalp
Time to Put People First
By Michelle Little, Young Activist Leader and PJALS Intern
Being a single mother of three young children, I depend on many programs to care for my family while I am attending college, including Medicaid, food stamps, child care assistance and the Washington State Need Grant for higher education. Continuing cuts to these programs will devastate families such as my own, and many other families who are struggling to stay afloat.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day I had the privilege of speaking at the rally on the capitol steps with 300 people at Washington Community Action Network’s Racial Justice Rally in Olympia. I went with a delegation from the Peace and Justice Action League including my fellow intern Justin Filla. This was the first time I had ever spoken in front of a crowd, and although it was very scary it was also very empowering to be able to tell my story and have the support of so many people who feel the same way I do.
Young Activist Leader reflection: “YALP is my can of spinach”
by Alex Golikov, Lewis and Clark High School, Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media
If I were a male of my age, I would just punch a wall and forget the issues that make me an activist. Well, I tried, and it didn’t work- so I joined YALP. There is a large difference between being aware, and being aware with the knowledge of how to act. YALP has not only provided me with a broader awareness of local, national, and global affairs through the diverse knowledge pool of our members, but an idea of how to make change that becomes clearer with every meeting. Read more »
We said: “Money for People, Not for War!”
With the support of 18 faith communities, businesses, and organizations, we delivered 1123 signatures to Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell, urging them to vote for “Money for People, Not for War!” Thank you for signing in support! You can still endorse this important campaign here: www.pjals.org/billions.
Welcome Michelle Little
Michelle Little grew up in Omak, WA, and is the mother of three children, ages 7, 4, and 2. Michelle decided to get a degree in social work so she can change people’s views on social workers, due to her own previous negative experiences with social workers.
At first, she was interested in working in corrections or chemical dependency. After learning about macro-level social work in one of her classes, Michelle realized that she wanted to make a bigger difference and work on a larger scale. The major turning point for her was when she went to Olympia to lobby for healthcare. Read more »
Welcome Josh Neil
Josh Neil, from Whidbey Island, WA, is very active on EWU’s campus, where he helps the Pride Center Coordinator with various presentations about the LGBT community and how to become an ally.
Josh got very interested in learning more about PJALS after talking with one of the interns from last year. He then saw the organization’s work as something that he saw himself doing in the future. He states, “I’m looking forward to becoming more involved in the political process,” so he can become a more informed citizen.
He describes his most memorable moment at PJALS thus far, as doing phone banking for Referendum 74. Read more »
Welcome Lucy Vazquez
Lucy Vazquez, from Wenatchee, WA, became interested in social work because she liked the case management work she saw her mother doing in the community. Lucy is also working on a minor in Chicano/Latino studies.
Lucy has been active in MEChA, NASA (Native American Student Association), One America and other social justice groups and she’s learned leadership and communication skills. She has a passion for social change, is open-minded, and wants to help other people. Read more »
Welcome Justin Filla
Justin Filla is from Cowiche, a small rural community outside of Yakima, WA. He was originally majoring in Criminal Justice, but after learning more about systemic issues that contributed to the delinquency of minors, he realized that he would rather be on the other side of the problem. Rather than putting people in jail he wanted to help them in other ways. He then decided the Social Work program would be a good fit. He is still considering finishing his degree in Criminal Justice, but would like to focus on his current program. For the last three years, Justin has been involved with ASEWU, the Associated Students of Eastern Washington University, and is currently the elected Student Services Representative. Read more »