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Western States Center Blog

Get the latest news, opinions and thoughts from the Center staff and guest bloggers. Subscribe to our blog RSS.

Get the latest news, opinions and thoughts from the Center staff and guest bloggers. Subscribe to our blog RSS.

Ballot Measures: 2016 Update

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jul 15, 2016 04:01 PM |

The month of July marks the approval deadline for several western states—the date that any proposed ballot initiatives must turn-in enough signatures to qualify for the November general election ballot. Our executive director provides a brief update on how western states out organized these egregious ballot measure proposals!

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Cultivating the Growth of Liberation Through Community Organizing

Cultivating the Growth of Liberation Through Community Organizing

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jul 15, 2016 02:00 PM |

This June, Western States Center launched the 11th cohort of the Western Institute of Leadership Development, better known as WILD! Leadership comes in many different forms, and we are grateful to have another opportunity to work with a cohort of passion-filled participants from a vast array of diverse cultural and issue-based backgrounds. WILD has brought together people that embody the representation necessary for community organizing to move towards a new level with dedicated leaders that harness the power of their hearts and minds to enact change.

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A reflection on the events of the past week:

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jul 08, 2016 05:26 PM |

We say the names of the dead and injured, lives taken in the split-second flash of bullets – while recognizing that the forces of oppression and injustice that brought us to this moment of grief echo hundreds of years into our past. At the core of our work is the belief that nobody should live in fear that their parent, their child, their loved one - be taken from them in an act of violence. We take this moment to reflect– to better understand and organize around the many complex intersections of our identities and experiences.

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On Moving Grief Into Action

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jun 15, 2016 01:57 PM |

On Moving Grief Into Action: a message from the staff of Western States Center following the tragic deaths of 49 people killed on June 12th, 2016 in Orlando during a horrific, senseless act of violence. #Pulse #Orlando #WeAreWithYou

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International Women's Day

International Women's Day

Posted by Amy Casso at Mar 07, 2016 04:05 PM |

This International Women’s Day we celebrate and honor those who have come before us and all those who have helped us along the way in the work for justice and dignity for all. The courage and determination to move beyond just surviving to thriving must be a mission on this International Women’s Day.

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Celebrating Roe v. Wade as Queer and Transgender People

Celebrating Roe v. Wade as Queer and Transgender People

Posted by Owen Smith at Jan 28, 2016 04:00 PM |

January 22 marked the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States. Yet as we celebrate this day, I can’t help thinking of the women and transgender people who do not have access to the reproductive health care that this decision was intended to secure.

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On the Militia Takeover in Harney County, Oregon

On the Militia Takeover in Harney County, Oregon

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jan 21, 2016 03:00 PM |

The political fire of 2016 is off to a roaring start, fueled by state legislative sessions meeting, the anticipation of the Presidential election, and an armed takeover of federal land in southeastern Oregon. The Bundy Militia is just a recent iteration of a decades-long extremist movements. Make no mistake -- this isn’t coming out of nowhere -- this is a movement. What exactly is happening in Harney County? What’s the bigger picture? What else can you do? Click to learn more.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance is About Transgender Resilience

Transgender Day of Remembrance is About Transgender Resilience

Posted by Owen Smith at Nov 20, 2015 11:30 AM |

Every year on November 20th, LGBTQ advocates and allies come together to remember all of the transgender people around the world lost to anti-trans violence. This year, like in years past, the majority of those transgender people are transgender women of color. The undeniable reality of extreme cisgenderism/transphobia, sexism, racism, and homophobia/heterosexism all rolled into each violent act is a life ended too soon by violence. This day – today – is nationally known as Transgender Day of Remembrance, or TDOR.

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Oregonians for Reproductive Health Campaign Day of Action

Posted by Jamee Greer at Nov 10, 2015 07:51 PM |

Please join with us, our partners, and other reproductive justice advocates like yourself for our "Oregonians for Reproductive Health Campaign Day of Action!" Here's how you can join us on Wednesday, November 18th for this important action!

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Together we have pushed the horizons of reproductive justice!

Posted by Jamee Greer at Nov 09, 2015 12:00 PM |

I'm sharing with you today that I will no longer be working for Western States Center as Director of Programs. I have decided to stay in the Philippines and help care for my mother as she grieves, be with my family, and just as important, serve my fellow Filipin@s. This is a big decision, and not one easily made. In the end, I know you will all appreciate that I am choosing to support my bigger family and serve communities in the Philippines.

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"My Beautiful Black Family!"

"My Beautiful Black Family!"

Posted by Jamee Greer at Aug 12, 2015 05:35 PM |

Western States Center was approached by members of our organizing communities for help in fundraising to send Portland-area Black and African American folks to The Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, days after AMP (Activists Mobilizing for Power). Our pledge was to contribute 10% of our total raised during our leadership development conference to a local scholarship pool, raising over $1600. These funds were matched by PFLAG Portland Black Chapter. PFLAG Portland Black Chapter Design Editor and AMP photographer, Darion Demartez Jones, shared a few thoughts on his experiences as well as pictures.

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Reflections on #AMP2015

Reflections on #AMP2015

Posted by kelleyw at Aug 12, 2015 05:15 PM |

On behalf of Western States Center’s Board and staff we want to thank YOU for all the goodwill, patience and creativity that you shared at AMP (Activists Mobilizing for Power) 2015.

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Fuel for the New Year: 2015

Fuel for the New Year: 2015

Posted by Kelley Weigel at Jan 14, 2015 05:35 PM |

In the newness of 2015, we look back on the last few months of 2014 to take stock of the ways our organizing for social justice experienced seismic-level shifts. Our role has always been about a long-term vision and to support the leadership development and organizational collaboration that partner groups need to win. In 2015, whether it's through our innovative work with We are BRAVE, providing guidance and accountability at the state legislature under the RACE Program, or building connections between movement organizers and activists with the return of our summer camp for activists and organizers (AMP!) - there will be so many opportunities for us to continue building towards these wins, together. Read more about our reflections and vision going into the New Year!

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A look back at my time with Western States Center

A look back at my time with Western States Center

Posted by Jamee Greer at Dec 20, 2014 10:18 AM |

This week, I am moving back to Wisconsin to reunite with my partner and his kids. (I may be on the road somewhere in Idaho or Montana or North Dakota as you read this!) It's a really bittersweet moment for me. I've grown so much through my work with the Center, built really beautiful relationships and friendships in the Northwest, and been honored to be part of some true movement-building work that will keep me fire- up for a long time. There is a lot more road I want to walk - and will find ways to walk - with the organizers, leaders, and partner groups that I’ve had a chance to work alongside of.

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We Live Here: Dignity for Every Job, Protection for Every Worker!

We Live Here: Dignity for Every Job, Protection for Every Worker!

Posted by Jen Lleras at Oct 07, 2014 04:25 PM |

Tara Villalba with Community to Community writes about how LGBTQ Justice is inextricable from workers’ rights and economic justice. "By our participation in the fields and our very existence, on the streets and within our organizations, we hold our rightful place in our movements for social justice. There will be no economic justice unless each and every one of us is accounted for and benefits from our just demands. Social justice will continue to be an unfinished project unless our LGBTQ members and organizers are able to be fully present and powerful in all spaces without discrimination, harm, or violence."

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We Live Here: Gentrification Makes Us Invisible!

Posted by Jen Lleras at Oct 06, 2014 12:00 AM |

Khalil Edwards, the PFLAG Portland Black Chapter Program Coordinator, writes for the first day of the We Are Powerful - Coming Out for Social Justice Week campaign.

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"The World That We Will Create Together"

Posted by Jamee Greer at Sep 21, 2014 10:40 PM |

"The World That We Will Create Together" by special contributor, Monica Beemer, KBOO Community Radio/Western Regional Advocacy Project. Portland is hosting the PNW Social Forum on September 26-28th and activists are encouraged to register and share their issues and connected to others.

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Dreaming BRAVE-ly with Momentum Alliance

Dreaming BRAVE-ly with Momentum Alliance

Posted by Cynthia Lin at Jul 27, 2014 03:25 PM |

Cynthia reports back from Momentum Alliance’s two-week reproductive justice leadership camp for youth. Momentum Alliance is one of three organizations that comprise the We are BRAVE (Building Reproductive Autonomy and Voices for Equity) cohort.

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What do we learn when we work collectively?

What do we learn when we work collectively?

Posted by rosa at Jun 10, 2014 10:40 AM |

Kelley Weigel, Executive Director at the Center, interviews activist Kathleen Saadat ask her what we have learned from winning the freedom to marry in Oregon, how LGBTQ issues are immigrant issues, and the need for drivers cards in Oregon.

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Becoming BRAVE

Becoming BRAVE

Posted by rosa at May 08, 2014 12:00 AM |

Shantae shares how the love for her children informed her decision to have an abortion. And how through We are BRAVE she found a community of sisters that have shaped her into a reproductive justice warrior.

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