By Megan Juneau, PJALS Intern

Over the last six months as an intern, I have had many eye-opening, humbling experiences. I have had the pleasure of working with Greater Spokane Progress, Smart Justice Spokane, the NAACP, Spokane’s city council members, the Inland Northwest Death Penalty Abolition Group, the Young Activist Leaders Program, the Spokane Police Accountability Reform Coalition, PJALS members, and other various members and leaders of my community.

I have gained experience in all levels of social work (micro, mezzo, and macro) and in a wide array of issues including immigration rights, refugee rights, death penalty abolition, nuclear weapons, militarism and the war budget, and criminal justice reform. I believe the skills, education, and exposure I have obtained while here at PJALS will be very applicable to my future work.

There has been a lot of firsts for me this year—I was able to attend the Fig Tree Legislative Conference, the Women’s Persistence March, the Smart Justice Spokane Community Voting Party, the Peace and Justice Action Conference, the Books Not Bombs Book Sale, the Why Race Matters workshop, and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Memorial (just to name a few).

Through these experiences and through the relationships I have built within my community, I have become more culturally sensitive, culturally competent, inclusive, trauma-informed, empathetic, organized, involved, and excited about my future as a social worker.

It has been truly moving witnessing this organization’s ongoing dedication to advancing peace, social and economic justice, and human rights. And it’s also been very heart-warming to see just how many people in my community have the same mission, values, and dedication as well. It’s been really neat to see how working on a mezzo and macro level for social, political, and economic change has impacted one individual, one family, one neighborhood, one city at a time.

I am looking forward to my third quarter with PJALS, as the responsibilities and challenges grow throughout the year. I’m excited to get involved in the Poor People’s Campaign and assisting people in stepping into leadership and participation roles in this movement.

Thank you to each and every one of you for the many opportunities that have been given to me for self-growth and self-reflection this year. Because of your involvement, I have received the gift of an internship with PJALS. This has been a truly memorable experience.