By Shar Lichty, Organizer

Although many of you already know me from my time with PJALS over the past two years, first as a BASW practicum student and then as a VISTA Volunteer, I wanted to say hello as I begin the new leg of my journey with PJALS as an Organizer. I moved to E. Washington 16 years ago from So. California. At times I wonder what I am doing in such a conservative area. My involvement with PJALS provides the hope I need to stay here near my children, grandchildren and friends and doing the work I love.

I first learned about PJALS during my time at SCC as president of the Student Awareness League which was formed and inspired by the work of PJALS. During that time, I met Rusty and Nancy as we co-hosted Sister Helen Prejean and attended my first anti-war rally at Franklin Park. This was the beginning of my work for social justice and human rights on a professional level.

When I learned I would have the opportunity to do my practicum at PJALS it seemed to be partly driven by fate; I was meant to be here. The ability to make a living actively working on issues I value is a gift. PJALS is a unique organization working on issues under the broad umbrella of peace, economic justice and human rights and recognizing the interconnection among them. This creates a perfect match between my values and the mission of PJALS. As my sister often says, I am “living the dream.”

During the past two years, I have had endless opportunities to be further educated on issues I am passionate about, gain valuable professional skills as an organizer, play a small role in campaigns for change, and form relationships with individuals from other progressive organizations. The amazing folks of PJALS form what I consider my large, wonderful family of choice, and that is priceless.

I get to look forward to going to work—not because everything I do as an organizer is exciting and glamorous. Some days the work is tedious and it is always busy, but the best part of my job is the interactions I have with PJALS members and supporters on a daily basis. If I haven’t met you yet, I hope our paths will cross in a committee meeting or at a PJALS event as I continue to live the dream, working at PJALS.