Praxis: Building Beloved Community Now

Taking tangible action to nourish our cross-race, cross-class movement.


Our annual Peace & Justice Action Conference is the largest event in the Inland Northwest region for activists to sharpen skills, deepen analysis, and strengthen relationships. This year’s theme sets the tone for our continued work and challenges us to consider how race and class must be at the forefront of our minds in all that we do. To achieve the ideals of Beloved Community we must build and nourish the cross-class movement from our current position here and now.

Proceeds from the conference go towards compensating presenters and panelists, paying for conference expenses (like food, snacks, etc.), and continuing PJALS’ peace- and justice-building work all year round. If you already registered for this year’s conference, you receive complementary access to all workshop recordings! You should have received an email with information on how to access the online recordings. If you have not received an email but know you registered, please contact Union Carter at [email protected].

If you did not register for this year’s conference but would like to access all workshop recordings, please register at the link below. Once you register, you will receive an email with the webpage and password to access the recordings.

Register now!

Ticket Prices:


General Public


Members of PJALS and co-sponsoring groups (list of co-sponsors here)


Living Lightly (self-identified low-income, students, seniors, artists, etc.)

If the cost of registration is a barrier, please contact Union Carter at [email protected]

2023 Conference Events:

Thursday, September 28 – Progressive Approaches to Addressing Antisemitism

6PM to 7:30PM via Zoom with Group Watch at the Hive, Event Room A

Join presenters Shane Burley, author of Why We Fight: Essays on Fascism, Resistance, and Surviving the Apocalypse, and Ben Lorber, Political Research Associates:

Based on the extensive archival research, original reporting, and over 150 interviews, our workshop is intended to take the lessons derived from progressive and antiracist approaches to community organizing and to apply them to antisemitism. Building on intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, Critical Theory, and other interdisciplinary interventions, our workshop attempts to develop a unique approach to the question of antisemitism that situates that struggle within larger movements opposing white supremacy, Christian dominance, and the legacies of settler colonialism. This workshop synthesizes the thesis and strategies that coalesced in an upcoming book for Melville House, which proposes a pathway for confronting antisemitism from within progressive social movements.


Read the bios of all presenters, panelist, and moderators at this year’s conference here.

Friday, September 29 – Salish Language Revitalization: Generative Justice with the Salish School of Spokane

Doors open at 6PM, program starts at 6:30PM at the Spokane Central Library, nx?yx?yetk? Hall (3rd floor)

Join presenters Christopher Parkin and LaRae Wiley from the Salish School of Spokane:

Indigenous language communities are seeking justice by working to revitalize their languages and the cultures and knowledge that are expressed in and embedded in those languages. While we work to undo systems of exploitation that are widening the climate crisis and damaging human communities, we must also rebuild and generate Indigenous systems that offer a proven path to sustainability and justice. In the greater Spokane region, there are four Indigenous languages: Coeur d’Alene, Spokane-Kalispel, Colville, and Wenatch-Columbian. These four languages constitute the Southern Interior branch of the Salish language family. Workshop participants will learn about the global movement to revitalize threatened Indigenous languages, and especially the Indigenous languages of the Pacific Northwest and Spokane regions. Participants will also learn some basic Colville Salish words and phrases.


Read the bios of all presenters, panelist, and moderators at this year’s conference here.

Saturday, September 30

Full day of conference events from 9AM to 5PM
Spokane Central Library
Lunch included, provided by Indigenous Eats

At this year’s conference, you will have to opportunity to choose from 16 workshops across 4 workshop tracks:

The keynote speaker presentation this year will be a Keynote Panel on the campaign to take down Measure 1 this fall. Stay up to date on the campaign coalition work by visiting Justice Not Jails.

Read the bios of all presenters, panelist, and moderators at this year’s conference here.

Organizing Education

Organizing is the art and science of shifting power. Through organizing, everyday people can help build a more just and nonviolent world. The workshops in this track will help you learn and practice essential skills for grassroots organizing. Read the bios of all presenters, panelist, and moderators at this year’s conference here.

Workshops in this track include:
  • Engaging People to Act: Key Ingredients for Recruitment & Mobilization with Blair Anundson (SEIU 1199NW)

Isolation is like Kryptonite when you’re fighting against systemic oppression and exploitation. Come sharpen your skills at engaging people to get active to create change shoulder-to-shoulder! It all comes down to the art and science of “the organizing conversation.” Learn time-tested tools to help you put your time & efforts to the most effective use and make it more likely you’ll win!

  • Organizing for Justice and Community: How-To’s for Powerful Campaigns with Jac Archer (Spokane Community Against Racism) and Robert Huitt (Greater Spokane Progress)

Organizing is how everyday people can make their own decisions, take action together for shared goals, and build our collective grassroots power. To win the changes we want, we must think in terms of campaigns: a series of organized, planned actions that put increasing pressure on a decision-maker to take the action we want them to take. In this workshop we’ll discuss the stages and steps of successful campaigns and how to take action for shared goals to change the balance of power.

  • Decolonizing Organizing with Justice Forral (Spokane Community Against Racism)

Decolonizing Organizing is a workshop on shifting organizational spaces into community spaces by addressing systemic impacts on organizational structures and daily interactions. Decolonizing organizing is about modifying and rethinking our practices to create environments for growth, healing, complaints, and open discussion while focusing on practicing restorative and transformative justice.

  • 10 Things Every Organizer Should Know with Union Carter and Bex Matthews (Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane)

The questions we ask as Organizers are essential to the process and a successful movement. What are those questions, why do they matter, and how do we answer them? In this workshop, we boil down the 10 most important things a new organizer should know, and how to obtain that knowledge in different situations. Learn the first steps of becoming a successful activist in this interactive workshop! This workshop is a great refresher for experienced activists too – it’s universal knowledge in learning to become an organizer!

Issue Education

Examine local, regional, and global issues that are barriers to Beloved Community – a state of universal human kinship where everyone’s needs are met. Read the bios of all presenters, panelist, and moderators at this year’s conference here.

Workshops in this track include:
  • Global Far-right Nationalism panel discussion with Dr. Yasaman Naraghi (Gonzaga University, PJALS), Dr. Joan Braune (Gonzaga University), Dr. Annie Wilkinson (Political Research Associates), and Mary Pat Treuhart (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane & Gonzaga University, moderator)

In recent years, countries around the world, including the US, have witnessed the re-emergence of authoritarian leaders. Right-wing populism is rising worldwide, but the reasons for its ascension aren’t the same everywhere. Panelists will share their expertise regarding these dynamics in several countries, sharing both patterns and unique elements.

  • The Backlash to Queer Liberation panel discussion with Kate Bitz (Western States Center), KJ January (Spectrum Center Spokane), Amy Dundon (ACLU of Idaho), Pascal Bostic (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, moderator)

In recent years, the 2SLGBTQIA+ community has made significant strides toward achieving equality, recognition, and acceptance. However, these victories have not come without their challenges. “The Backlash to Queer Liberation” workshop delves deep into the complexities and obstacles that have risen in the wake of progress. Join us as we explore the various forms of backlash faced by the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and examine strategies to counteract them.

  • Key Issues in the Inland Northwest with Dr. Sarah Lynch (North Idaho Pride Alliance), Sarah Dixit (Pro-Choice Washington), Naghmana Sherazi (Lands Council), Ami Manning (Spokane Low-Income Housing Consortium), Ryann Louie (moderator; Asians for Collective Liberation in Spokane)

Our Inland Northwest region has seen far-right opposition to reproductive freedom and 2SLGBTQIA+ liberation, climate catastrophe wildfires and extreme temperatures, and a crisis of homelessness and a lack of affordable housing. Panelists will share their insights on the forces shaping our region and how we can respond together to advance our essential vision of Beloved Community.

  • Woman, Life, Freedom: Feminism in Iran with Arezoo Davari (Eastern Washington University) and Yasaman Naraghi (Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane & Gonzaga University)

In this workshop we learn how the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement in Iran challenges gender inequality, racial and ethnic inequality, and class inequality.

Radical Arts & Culture

Vibrant drawings, protest songs, poetry, or dance are just some of the many art forms that have animated and been integral to the success of social movements. Radical Arts and Culture workshops examine and celebrate the fun, soul-filling, and essential role the arts play in creating the narrative, popular imagery, and social framework for a more just and nonviolent world. Read the bios of all presenters, panelist, and moderators at this year’s conference here.

Recordings are not available for the workshops in this track due to the in-person interactive nature of each workshop. Workshops in this track included:
  • Tree of Community Safety: Collaborative Mural with Amber Hoit (Local Muralist)

Come together to learn local artist Amber Holt’s artistic process and work alongside her to create a community mural. Together, we will explore what “community safety” is and how we can continue to build a safer space for everyone. The mural  created by participants will proudly be displayed at the remainder of the conference and later at the PJALS offices downtown.

  • Peace and Love Poetry Workshop with Afaria Duke aka AJ The Wordsmith (Power to the Poetry)

through the power of words we shall bring forth both healing and awareness

  • Beloved Community Open Mic Poetry hosted by Shantell Jackson (Spokane Arts)

Unlock your inner poet and join us for a journey into the world of spoken word and self-expression at our Beloved Community Open Mic. Here we will dive deeper into the meaning of beloved community and how we can achieve it together. Whether you’re a seasoned poet or just beginning to explore the magic of words, this workshop is your space to express your emotions, thoughts, and stories through the art of poetry.

  • Community That Moves Mountains: Step Workshop with Stephaine Courtney (The Learning Project Network)

Join our step workshop to learn the art of dynamic and rhythmic step choreography and enhance your dance skills in a fun and energetic environment.“​​Step is very unique in the fact that we’re using movement, we’re using words, but also it’s a way for us to express different thoughts, ideas, and principles,” – Stephaine Courtney.

Mobilization Track

The workshops in the Mobilization track provide the opportunity to act. Together we will take tangible steps to fight against the expansion of Spokane County’s carceral system and promote a holistic vision of community safety and wellness. Read the bios of all presenters, panelist, and moderators at this year’s conference here.

Workshops in this track include:
  • Race-Class Analysis: Building a collective strategy (that wins!) with Michaela Brown (Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane & Philanthropy Northwest) and Bex Matthews (Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane)

When we join together with a common understanding and analysis of oppression, the strength and power of our voices propels the movement for racial and economic justice forward. But what does it mean to build a collective analysis? How do we use that analysis to call more people into the movement and secure key policy wins? And how do we do this in the context of select politicians who continually try to divide us along racial lines through fear-based, coded racist messaging? Through the Building Organizing Leadership Development (BOLD) project at PJALS, we try to answer these questions by developing a shared Race-Class Analysis. The Race-Class Analysis is an intersectional framework of understanding that names both race- and class-based oppression in the context of current social issues (like mass incarceration). It relies on the understanding that, while select politicians want us to think we have more in common with wealthy elites than we do with our neighbors down the road, we know the only way to achieve racial and economic justice is through cross-race cross-class movement building. We use the Race-Class Analysis to create strategic and intentional messages that have been proven to reach larger audiences and advance progressive policy agendas. Join us for this abbreviated introduction to BOLD, the Race-Class Analysis, and how intentional and collective analysis can get us closer to the equitable and just communities we envision.

  • How to Have 1-on-1 Conversations About Measure 1 with Cori Jeager, (Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane), Chad Kuntz (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane), Raven Tyler (Northwest Passage Consulting)

At a family dinner, at your faith community, or over coffee — conversations are a powerful opportunity! The most effective way to move anyone to action is through a 1-on-1 conversation! Join us to learn about Measure 1 and how you can weave in key ingredients that create commitments for action. You will leave ready to talk to friends, family, or voters about why they should vote No on Measure 1.

  • No on Measure 1: Hands-on Outreach Calling Voters hosted by Pascal Bostic (PJALS), Ellis Benson (PJALS), Adalayda Rios (PJALS), Union Carter (PJALS), Liz Moore (PJALS), Raven Tyler (Northwest Passage Consulting)

Are you interested in talking to voters and want to make a positive impact on this fall’s election? Join us in calling our community members to educate them about Measure 1 and the dangerous effects of massive jail expansion! This workshop is your opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to effectively engage with voters and urge them to vote No on Measure 1.

  • The Platform For Change: Envisioning a More Just Spokane with Jac Archer (Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane & Spokane Community Against Racism)

The Platform for Change uses policy to envision a Spokane County community safety and wellness network that is robust, diversified, integrated, holistic, and community centered. Learn about the coalition that works to articulate and enact this vision, and what it’s up to now.