Congratulations to Jac Archer, who was honored by the Spokane NAACP and The Learning Project in November in recognition of their role in the community and leadership. We join them in heartfelt appreciation for Jac’s essential leadership.
NAACP President Kiantha Duncan presented Jac with the Emerging Leader award at the NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet. “As we acknowledge leaders in Eastern Washington, the voices we most often acknowledge are those that are the loudest,” said Kiantha. “While that can be effective, what is equally as effective is the voice of the advocate that is willing to both stand in their conviction while hearing the varied opinions and perspectives of others and attempting to find value in those diverse views to the extent that those views are not harmful to the communities in which Jac supports.”
The Learning Project was founded by Stephaine Beans to build awareness, solutions, and leadership for people of color and vulnerable communities who are not receiving health equity and social justice by generating transformative ideas, information, and experiences. Jac received the award at The Grassroot Project which “recognizes the people in our community who are rooting us with power and strength by building community.” The event’s goal is to “honor the people who work within the community from the roots up. Our community cannot change without you.”
To amplify the widespread and well-deserved appreciation and celebration of Jac, we want to share these reflections on Jac’s leadership.
Pui-Yan Lam, SCAR: 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.
Pastor Walter Kendricks, SCAR: Being introduced to Jac many years ago, I have watched them develop as a leader, and perhaps more so as an individual.
I find them learned, always prepared, insightful, and courageous. Thoughtful, respectful and considerate, They also are not afraid to stand on or in their convection, possessing a keen sense of what is the right thing to do, given a particular situation/ issue.
They are mature beyond their years. It has been and continues to be for me, a privilege to work alongside them, moving steadily toward the goal of equal justice and treatment for all, regardless of race, color, gender, etc. et al.
Scott Mueller, SCAR: Leadership is a weird thing that often rewards privilege and ambition for those who seek it. But Jac isn’t seeking. They are manifesting as a remarkable community leader organically through their authenticity, earnestness, and hard work. It makes them an amazing person to follow.
Justice Forral, SCAR: 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.
Becca Meredith, PJALS member and BOLD facilitator and Greater Spokane Progress intern: I first met Jac while I was working as an intern with Greater Spokane Progress. It was evident from the first Zoom meeting we shared that they not only had a vast working knowledge of the Spokane community, but a gift for articulating their concerns and ideas as well as a passion for creating a more equitable city. I then had the privilege of working with Jac as a part of the BOLD Race-Class Academy with the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane where I was able to experience their humble leadership and capacity for team building. Jac is charismatic and determined. They affirmed for me that we all have a place in the movement for social justice, regardless of how far along we are on our own learning and healing journeys. You don’t need a degree or a lifetime of achievements to create meaningful change but rather the openness to be held accountable and to hold others accountable to leading with intention and thoughtful action. Jac is unapologetically human and asks no more or less of those who are fortunate to share space with them, making it easy to show up as you are. An inspiring, refreshing, and rare blend of realness, warmth, wit, and compassion, Jac is a courageous advocate with whom I am honored to engage in this deep and necessary work of social justice.
Michaela Brown, PJALS Steering Committee member and BOLD facilitator: 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.
Kurtis Robinson, I Did The Time / Revive: 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.
Shar Lichty, PJALS Development 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.
Lisa Logan, PJALS Digital Strategist: I have been fortunate to know Jac since their time as a student activist at EWU. Jac’s skills and strengths as an organizer stood out then and they’ve only continued to grow. They have a unique approach that incorporates love, understanding, relationship building, and passion. All of this combines with an understanding that we have to maintain our attention and energy toward ending all forms of oppression.
Liz Moore, PJALS Executive Director: Jac brings strategic insight, humor, and passion to their organizing and leadership roles. What shines through all these aspects is Jac’s love for Black people, for BIPOC communities, for LGBTQ+ communities, and for everyone in the struggle for liberation. That love is powerfully animating, and Jac’s love makes Jac a powerful leader for justice.