Our 10th Annual Peace & Justice Action Conference: Building Beyond the Moment will be held February 22nd-23rd at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, 4340 W. Ft. George Wright Dr.

Friday, Feb. 22 6-8:30 pm Building Beyond the Moment! Opening Reception
Join us for tasty nosh, wine & more, and featuring a performance from Spectrum Singers!

Saturday, Feb. 23 9am-5pm All Day Action Conference Join us for a full day with three workshop sessions, a fantastic keynote, breakfast, lunch, and lots of opportunities to connect with like-minded folks who are putting their values into action! See schedule below.

Registration Rates:

  • $60 General Public
  • $45 members of PJALS and co-sponsoring groups (see list of co-sponsors below)
  • $20 Living Lightly (self-identified low-income, students, seniors, etc)
  • Limited “workshare volunteer scholarships” are available—please sign up for the volunteer shift of your choice here or contact Brooke at [email protected] for info. Two-hour workshare shifts include set-up, registration table, resource table, clean-up, etc

Conference schedule (Saturday, Feb 23rd):

8:00-9:00 Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:45-9:00 Opening Performance – The Raging Grannies!

9:00-9:30 Welcome and Dedication

9:30-9:45 Mixer Break

9:45-11:15 “Education for Action” Workshop Session 1 (90 min)

  • A closer look: What’s fueling the rise of white nationalismSami Alloy & Lindsay Schubiner, Western States Center Join us to take a deep dive into the ideology driving white nationalism, the different impacts of its bigotry against women, immigrants, religious minorities, and more, and what this can mean for how each of us organizes.
  • This Is What A War Economy Looks LikeSpokane Veterans for Peace, Chapter #035 Hear from veterans on the militarization of society and what to do about it.
  • A Walk In Our Shoes: the impact of mass incarceration – Duaa-Rahemaah Williams, PJALS Steering Committee & LaTisha Conto, Virla Spencer, Megan Prire, Terry Britt, Kym Joe, and Jermal Joe A personal look at mass incarceration and the impact it has on individuals and families
  • Know Your Rights – Immigration Fernanda Mazcot & Lili Navarrete, Raiz of Planned Parenthood Whether you are an immigrant or an ally, this workshop will provide you with information and skills to protect the constitutional rights of all people.
  • Nothing About Us Without Us: Fostering Intersectionality in Organizations– Jac Archer, Spokane Human Rights Commission, Spokane Community Against Racism, and Spokane County Democrats Learn what it means to approach social justice with an intersectional lens, and some ways to foster that lens within an organization.
  • Advocating for Single-Payer Healthcare Cris Currie & Marilynne Wilson, Healthcare for All-WA American healthcare will be defined as an economic justice, human rights, and peace issue, and participants will be equipped with tools to promote change.
  • Transformational Organizing for Peace and Justice: Power, Leadership, Base-Building, Collaboration, and Other Challenging Topics– Liz Moore, Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane We recruit and mobilize. We take on challenging roles, try new strategies, and create new coalitions and networks. We’re trying to work on immoral monsters like militarism and white supremacy, and we’re trying to build a multi-racial, intergenerational, rural-urban, regional majority. Can we move together? Can we win together? What does it look like to develop leaders? What is the role of organizations within a movement? What does transformational organizing look like in the midst of crisis after crisis? Come discuss the art and science of organizing and explore how we can apply core principles to our current challenges.

11:15-11:30 Mixer Break

11:30-1:00 “Education for Action” Workshop Session 2 (90 min)

  • Tools and Strategies for Community Action to Counter White NationalismKate Bitz & Lindsay Schubiner, Western States Center This interactive workshop will explore organizing tools and case studies to prepare participants to respond quickly and effectively to white nationalist and far-right activity in their communities. It will provide space for organizers to brainstorm strategies and discuss their ideas, challenges, and learnings with others working in communities threatened by white nationalism.
  • Military Behavioral Healthcare Reform Act – Larry Shook, journalist/author & Spring Gawkowski, LCSW A review of the endless, highly infectious mental health catastrophe of training people to kill and tolerating a virulent military rape culture without aggressive public education and provision of lifetime rehabilitation for the traumatically wounded.
  • Understanding Oppression: A Developmental Strategy to Liberate Everyone – Michaela Brown, Excelerate Success/United Way Spokane In this session you will be invited to hold both truth and reality. Together we will explore Dr. Leticia Nieto’s Anti-Oppression Developmental framework. Whether you hold privilege or are the target of oppression there is always the opportunity to deepen our consciousness and develop towards liberation.
  • Mass Incarceration as a Public Health Issue – Carmen Pacheco Jones, Community Health Worker This workshop will address the impact of incarceration on the health of the incarcerated as well as the public as a whole. We will examine such areas as outcomes in health, access to healthcare and how race impacts health outcomes as well as exposure to ACE’s as a precursor to incarceration.
  • Faith Over Fear: Standing with Our Muslim Neighbors – Rev. Terry Kyllo, Neighbors in Faith & Aneelah Afzali, Esq., American Muslim Empowerment Network Together we can build a future based on our shared values and vision for America! This workshop provides an overview of the Islamophobia industry, the threat it poses to our nation and civil liberties, and what we can do about it together.
  • Tenants Leading the Fight for Housing Justice – panelTerri Anderson, Tenants Union of Washington & Spokane Area Tenants United members Spokane tenants are currently experiencing a crisis caused by an unregulated rental housing market, shortage of affordable housing, and historic low vacancy rates. Landlords dominate rental housing policies in Spokane that create an imbalance of power and tenants fear eviction and retaliation for exercising or asserting their rights. The city of Spokane was founded upon the injustice that displaced the indigenous people of the Spokane Tribe by Executive Order in 1881. The first people of the region were also the first people evicted from Spokane. Hear from tenant leaders who are leading the movement for Housing Justice in Spokane. Attend this interactive panel discussion to learn how you can join and be a part of the action. These tenants are part of a larger movement to transform housing as a commodity to housing as a human right.
    Privacy & Security for Community Organizers – Rebecca Long, Emilie St. Pierre, & Jacob Varns, Future Ada For this Privacy & Security Workshop, we will be focusing on the special considerations community organizers and activists will want to keep in mind when protecting themselves and their data online.

1:00-1:45 Lunch

1:45-2:45 Keynote: A Culture of Care: Fighting the Right by Building a Movement for All

The United States has systematically devalued the work of caregiving, community building, and culture-making. We live in a culture where workers are not guaranteed paid family leave, where immigrants and mothers of color are criminalized, where queer communities are under attack, and cultural institutions are decimated by disinvestment. This has destabilized our communities and undermined our basic needs, creating a climate of crisis and social isolation that has allowed white nationalism and authoritarianism to flourish. In order to build the vibrant, intersectional movements we need to prevail, we must build a culture of care where we all can thrive.

Keynote Speaker: Sami Alloy, Western States Center

Sami Alloy works with community organizations and leaders across the western US to use research-informed organizing strategies to counter white nationalism. Before working with Western States Center, Sami served as the Oregon campaigns manager for Forward Together and as Deputy State Director for Oregon Working Families Party.

2:45-3:00 Mixer Break

3:00-4:30 “Education for Action” Workshop Session 3 (90 min)

  • Families Against Bigotry: Resisting White Nationalist Recruitment of Teens Joan Braune, Families Against Bigotry & Kate Bitz, Defending Democracy Fellow at Western States Center Families Against Bigotry was formed in spring 2018 in response to bullying, “alt-right” organizing, and white nationalist recruitment in Spokane Valley high schools; hear from teen leaders, parents, and researchers on our work to make schools more safe and inclusive and make it harder for fascists to recruit kids.
  • Journey to Afghanistan and Back with a Young Soldier – Mary Rupert & Steve Paulson Explore poems, prose, and photographs from the heart-breaking, heart-filled journal of a young Washington State soldier who returned from his tour of duty in Afghanistan with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Understanding Gender: An Introduction to Gender and Inclusivity in Organizing – Ian Sullivan, Odyssey Youth Movement This session is designed for organizers and community activists looking to gain a better understanding of gender identity and gender expression. This interactive training offers organizers information and tools to provide inclusive activist spaces including terms, a clear understanding of the differences between sexual orientation/gender identity/expression, and best practices for addressing common issues that come up in organizing work. The group will examine current examples of organizing and how they have succeeded or could improve inclusivity.
  • Spokane County, mass incarceration, systemic racism, and smart justice Kurtis Robinson, NAACP & Smart Justice Spokane; Sandy Williams, Black Lens & Spokane Community Against Racism; Rev. Walter Kendricks, Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church & Spokane Communities Against Racism; Cam Zorrozua, Center for Justice & Smart Justice Spokane; Dom Felix, PJALS Steering Committee & Revive Re-Entry Communities of color, those living in poverty, and our neighbors with mental illness, addiction, and disabilities are hardest hit by mass incarceration. Now, some of the County Commissioners want to build a new bigger jail to incarcerate more of our families and neighbors at huge public expense—even though jail is proven to be the most expensive and least effective way to deter crime, change behavior, and support recovery. Leaders from the Peace and Justice Action League, Center for Justice, Spokane Communities Against Racism, and NAACP Spokane will discuss the manufactured crisis of over-incarceration and extreme racial disparities in the Spokane County Jail. We will discuss how our community rejected the idea of a large new jail less than 10 years ago, the County’s unfinished work and broken promises to reduce jail population and address disparities, and the potential of initiatives like the Bail Project. You’ll leave with the most important things that you need to know to be part of stopping a new jail and advancing efforts to transform our criminal justice system.
  • Working Inside Out: Activism for the Long HaulWilliam Aal, Tools for Change and PJALS Steering Committee Sustaining ourselves and our movements for the long haul; incorporating holistic self-care and community into our activism.
  • How to Build community while stopping a Silicon Smelter – Phyllis Kardos, John Endres, & Tracy Morgan, Responsible Growth NE Washington This workshop will focus on building an activist/community organization and highlight examples from rural NE Washington as they organized to stop a silicon smelter.
  • Challenging Oppressive Statements Shar Lichty, Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane Come learn and practice some ways to use your voice to challenge prejudice and to accept challenges to our own internalized messed-up learnings. As allies to each other, we have to learn how to challenge oppression in every form. While we all must organize together to act against institutional and cultural oppression, we can act as individuals to challenge other people’s learned prejudices. Interrupting oppressive statements is one important way of confronting prejudice and creating communities and organizations that work for everyone.

4:30-5:00 Closing Plenary: Going Forward Together!

Conference co-sponsors:

If you are interested in sponsoring this great event, you can find our 2019 Sponsorship Packet here.

If you are interested in a volunteer workshare scholarship, please sign up here.

If you have any questions, please contact Shar at [email protected].