Our staff team at PJALS has gone through a significant period of growth and change these last few months. July 28th marked the last day of two invaluable PJALS team members and movement builders – Jac Archer and Sarah Hegde. While we are sad they will no longer be on our staff team, we are also thrilled for the new adventures Jac and Sarah are heading off to! And we are left with overwhelming gratitude for having had the privilege of working so closely with two kind, compassionate, driven, energy-giving, knowledgeable community leaders over the past few years.

We are practicing the important skill of simultaneity – while we are holding the gratitude and the sadness of saying farewell to Jac and Sarah, we are also holding the excitement and sense of possibility of welcoming new members to our team! For starters, we are happy to announce Union Carter – our new Community Organizer! Union joined the team on June 17th and was able to work closely with Jac for over a month – learning the landscape, connecting with community leaders, building relationships, and jumping right in to conference planning!

We invite you to take a few moments to read more about each of these wonderful team members – past and present!

Sarah Hegde (she/her)

Sarah Hegde (she/her) graduated high school in June and is headed off to college! Sarah joined our Peace and Justice Action League community in 2019 as a 13-year-old participant in the Young Activist Leaders Program. She came on staff that fall to coordinate the program first with Taylor Weech and then with Ivy Pete. She did a fantastic job pivoting, pivoting, and pivoting to keep that program vibrant during the pandemic. In preparation for her launching off into the world, Sarah served as the primary mentor for three new Young Activist Leaders Program Interns: Adalayda Rios, Pascal Bostic, & Ellis Benson.

We excited to announce that Pascal, Ellis, and Adalayda have now joined our PJALS team as the official Youth Organizers! And they are already hitting the ground running – they just opened applications for Organizing Interns that will work closely with the Youth Organizers to support the campaign against ballot Measure 1 this fall. We can’t wait to see how these young leaders grow and continue mobilizing young people in our community in the movement for peace and justice!

Reflections on Working with Sarah

Sarah joined PJALS as a participant in the Young Activist Leaders Program and then came on staff as a high school student in 2019. What stood out to me from my first acquaintance with her was her insightful and on-point questions. Then I saw her recruit half the participants of the Young Activist Forum, and I couldn’t wait to welcome her to our staff team. Sarah, as you enter college life, I wish you great experiences, new adventures, and continued questions.

Liz Moore (she/her)

PJALS Executive Director

It has been an honor to work with Sarah Hegde the last four years. From the moment I met her and witnessed her fantastic organizing skills as she recruited youth to a YALP Forum, I knew she would be a great addition to our staff team. She did a phenomenal job adjusting YALP to fit into the virtual reality we had during the pandemic and then expanding the program to include non-youth in a truly intergenerational version. I look forward to seeing what amazing things the next phase of her life brings as she graduates from high school and heads to college.

Shar Lichty (they/she)

PJALS Development Director

It’s been a privilege to work with Sarah Hegde for the last year and a half. She executes her organizing work with an effortlessness that only comes from years of practice. While perhaps surprising for a high school student, it makes sense when you consider that she’s been at it since age 11. Her skill, sharpness, and sunny personality will be missed at the office, and I’m so glad we got to serve on the same staff.

Jac Archer (they/them)

Outgoing PJALS Community Organizer

I first met Sarah when she was facilitating a workshop at last year’s Peace & Justice Action Conference and was immediately struck by her passion for activism and her wisdom for community organizing. Since then, I have also been able to experience how kind, humble, uplifting, dedicated, and genuine she is as a person. She is such a driving force of equity, peace, connection, joy, and justice in our community – I am so excited to see what amazing things she will do next! Sending all the good vibes for your college adventure, Sarah!

Bex Matthews (they/them)

PJALS Digital Organizer

Sarah was the first person that I really got to know and work with at PJALS. She helped guide the other interns and I through our first sessions of YALP and really welcomed us into the group. She is definitely an inspiration to me and I wish her nothing but the best on her next journey!

Adalayda Rios (she/her)

PJALS Youth Organizer

Sarah has been an amazing, dedicated, and thoughtful leader for all of the YALP interns.

Ellis Benson (she/her)

PJALS Youth Organizer

Sarah is an inspiring and wonderful person to be around! I’m excited for her to do even more incredible things! Congrats on your journey ahead, Sarah!

Pascal Bostic (they/them)

PJALS Youth Organizer

Jac Archer (they/them)

Photo of Jac Archer (they/them) speaking at a microphone

Photo of Jac Archer (they/them) speaking at the 2022 action conference

Jac Archer (they/them/theirs) took the position of Organizer for the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane in November 2021. Jac moved to the Spokane area in 2013 where they have worked as an activist, community organizer, and educator in the fields of diversity, equity, civic engagement, and sexuality. Jac has delivered lectures and training workshops throughout the community, including at Whitworth University and Eastern Washington University.

Jac serves on the Steering Committee of Spokane Community Against Racism (SCAR), as a Spokane Human Rights Commissioner, and on the Spectrum Spokane Board. Jac has a passion for community organizing, institutional policy and making difficult concepts easily accessible. They also enjoy writing, singing, performance, and podcasts.

Jac Archer will be starting law school this August, leaving the Organizer position to fulfill their lifelong dream of becoming an attorney committed to civil rights and intersectional justice. We’re delighted for them and we know that we will miss their expertise and skills just as much as their sense of humor!

Reflections on Working with Jac

Jac also came into the PJALS community through the Young Activist Leaders Program, as a student leader with the Black Student Union at EWU. But the first day I met Jac, they were volunteering at a PJALS event hosting journalist and author Chris Hedges, when they invited me to sign up for the PJALS email list not knowing I was already on staff. Their confidence and welcoming approach piqued my interest in getting to know them, support them, and work with them. As a Steering Committee member, Jac offered critical leadership to our PJALS community. As a colleague, Jac’s strategic brilliance, energetic efforts, and commitment to vision have strengthened our organization and our movement.

Jac, you know I am very excited for you to pursue your dream. I’ll miss working with you very much! I know you’ll be an amazing attorney.

Liz Moore (she/her)

PJALS Executive Director

Jac has all of the skills a good leader needs, but that isn’t what stands out most about their leadership. It is the way they prioritize relationships, include the perspectives of impacted communities, continue to learn from others, and make space for new leaders that sets them apart. I am truly blessed to work with and learn from Jac.

Shar Lichty (they/she)

PJALS Development Director

I am so thankful that Jac and I’s paths crossed before they left PJALS to continue their education. Jac is a wealth of knowledge, and it is evident that they have a true passion for the rights of people. Their dedication to multiple organizations fighting for racial equity, queer liberation, and economic justice is just a few of the many ways they have shown up for their community. In the short time I’ve known Jac, I have seen what it feels like to be loved and cherished by a community, a community that will miss them deeply.

Jac, Gonzaga Law is so lucky to have you! I can’t wait to see all that you accomplish there!

Union Carter (she/her)

Incoming PJALS Community Organizer

I could write a paper on what I have learned from Jac, what I admire about them, and what I will miss the most. For brevity (sort of), I will just say Jac is one of the kindest, most honest and genuine people I have ever met. I have had the honor of experiencing them as an activist, an organizer, a teacher, a mentor, a coworker, a collaborator, and a friend. In all of these spaces they have consistently shown passion, thoughtfulness, clarity, a wonderful sense of humor, powerful articulation, and authenticity. I will miss their seemingly endless source of knowledge, insight, and capacity for building connection, community, and collective movements for peace, liberation, equity, joy, and justice. And I know they are just getting started! I am so excited for this new adventure (even though I baffled how there can still be any space in your brain for an entire law school curriculum!). Thank you for all of the inspiration, guidance, joy, and energy you have brought to my life, Jac! Sending all the good vibes for this new chapter!

Bex Matthews (they/them)

PJALS Digital Organizer

I experience Jac as a driven, thoughtful, intentional, compassionate individual who is also willing to learn as they’d lead. I deeply appreciate their eye on the prize approach while acknowledging that we are also part of that process.

Kurtis Robinson (he/him)

I Did The Time / Revive

When I think of Jac’s leadership several words come to mind, but invitational is one that stands out. Jac’s leadership invites folks to step up in bigger ways, to think deeper and to advocate harder and more strategically.

Michaela Brown (she/her)

PJALS Steering Committee

Jac lives in honesty and integrity with an acceptance of where they are at while challenging what they are capable of. Jac, the community leader, is relatable and empathetic, so even in a crowded zoom room, you will feel seen and heard. Jac brings a light and a fire that opens eyes and warms hearts to our own personal betterment and the betterment of our community.

Justice Forral (they/then)

SCAR Executive Director

Most people have seen Jac in action in public spaces like a rally, press conference or a workshop and have witnessed their charisma and public speaking skills. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to see Jac behind the scenes. I appreciate how strategic and organized Jac is, whether it is planning a campaign and organizing a forum or a training. The ability to mobilize with limited time and resources is an essential skill for community organizers to have but is often overlooked. Effective strategizing and planning is what sustains a social movement and leads to the system changes we desire. To be honest, I learned so much from Jac in this regard, and this is something I would like other young and emergent leaders to get to see and learn from them as well.

Pui-Yan Lam (she/her)

Spokane Community Against Racism

Union Carter (she/her)

Photo of Jac Archer and Union Carter

Union Carter (she/her) is a graduate of Gonzaga University with a degree in Political Science with minors in Sociology and Leadership Studies.

Previously, Union worked at the Washington Innocence Project and in the Unity Multicultural Education Center at Gonzaga University.

She brings experience in Social Justice Programming as well as experience responding to racially motivated hate incidents when the BSU at Gonzaga was zoom-bombed with racial slurs during the pandemic.

As an officer of the BSU, Union worked to educate the student body and hold the administration accountable for responding to the needs of Black students and building an inclusive environment on campus.

Union is passionate about education, law, and creating a more equitable world. In her new role, she hopes to continue to listen and learn from her community while serving as a force to elevate the voices of the marginalized.

A Message from Union

Hi PJALS Community!

I am so honored to have been chosen to be the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane’s new Community Organizer. I know that there are very big shoes to fill as Jac transitions to law school. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to continue doing social justice work in the Spokane area and expand my community to include all of you.

Previously, I worked in the Unity Multicultural Education Center at Gonzaga University creating DEI-centered trainings and programs, and at the Washington Innocence Project supporting their litigation department. I hope to bring my skills from those amazing experiences to PJALS.

I am privileged to have found an organization with values that align with mine and a determination to create real change in Spokane. As a Seattle transplant, I am eager to build connections and contribute to the fight for a better Spokane. I am extremely grateful to the PJALS staff for believing that I could be a great fit and for everything they have taught me thus far. I want to be a community resource, so please feel free to reach out to me. I’m excited to get to work!

Union Carter (she/her)

Incoming PJALS Community Organizer