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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.

And the Center's new executive director is...

Posted by Jamee Greer at Sep 08, 2017 03:08 PM |

For many of you, this is my first opportunity to introduce myself. For others, this email comes from a longtime friend. My name is Eric K. Ward, and this fall, on October 2nd, I’ll be your new executive director at Western States Center.

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Movement Building Intern: Chandani Wiersba

Movement Building Intern: Chandani Wiersba

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jul 19, 2017 08:28 PM |

Chandani is a Movement Building Intern at Western States Center over summer 2017, working on AMP! (Activists Mobilizing for Power), providing support for various events, and curriculum formatting. Learn more about her and her first few days at the Center in this blog update!

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Your power & persistence pays-off in Salem!

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jul 12, 2017 11:28 AM |

It’s a wrap! The Oregon Legislature ended last week, and we have massive victories to celebrate. Thanks to you, we carried some pieces of key legislation across the finish line!

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Announcement: Leadership Transition

Posted by Jamee Greer at Apr 28, 2017 12:00 PM |

It is with a mixture of sadness and gratitude that the Western States Center Board of Directors announces Kelley Weigel’s departure as Executive Director, effective September 1st, 2017. If you have any questions or concerns during this transition process, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Board at EDSearch@wscpdx.org. Our job announcement can be found on our website here. Please help us to get the word out!

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On creating the kinds of communities we want to live in and leave for future generations...

Posted by Jamee Greer at Apr 26, 2017 11:15 AM |

Over the last 15 years, Kelley Weigel has been instrumental in connecting and building the power of community organizations in our region and making sure Western States Center provides support to movements that challenge and transform individuals, organizations, and systems to achieve racial, gender, and economic justice. Her inspiring leadership will leave a permanent legacy at the organization. Here are some of her thoughts as we announce the transition of leadership at Western States Center.

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#SoBRAVEMultCo: Oregon’s Multnomah County to Join National Movement Calling for  Insurance Coverage of Abortion Care

#SoBRAVEMultCo: Oregon’s Multnomah County to Join National Movement Calling for Insurance Coverage of Abortion Care

Posted by Jamee Greer at Apr 20, 2017 10:55 AM |

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners has joined the growing number of localities recognizing the importance of access to affordable abortion care, with the introduction and passage of a proclamation on April 20, 2017. The proclamation calls on Congress to support policies that reaffirm the right of all people to make decisions about their health care without governmental interference, and support comprehensive health coverage and funding for all reproductive health care services.

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Resources for Resistance

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jan 20, 2017 11:44 AM |

As we look towards the first 100 days of the Trump Administration and into the coming years, it’s clear that what we face is not just a new chapter - but a new book. The challenges before us require nimbleness, cooperation, a willingness to learn and, of course, action! The staff of the Center have compiled a variety of resources to help us organize and mobilize for justice for our communities. By no means an exhaustive list, and it is a growing list. Please consider bookmarking this page as a resource. If you have a tool or other resource that should be shared, please forward it along to jameeg@wscpdx.org!

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People Power Coming to Idaho

People Power Coming to Idaho

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jan 20, 2017 09:39 AM |

2012 WILD grad Kathy Griesmyer writes about the political climate in Idaho going into the 2017 Legislative Session and a recent visit to Boise by Western States Center staff to facilitate meetings between progressive organizations working statewide on economic, gender and racial justice: “It’s in times like these that I’m most thankful for the willingness of Western States Center to spend time with those of us on the ground to ensure we have the tools we need to keep oppression and injustice at bay.”

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Scot Nakagawa: "We need to be prophets of the world as it should be"

Scot Nakagawa: "We need to be prophets of the world as it should be"

Posted by Jamee Greer at Oct 17, 2016 10:31 PM |

A guest post by Scot Nakagawa of ChangeLab. He is a community organizer, activist, and public intellectual. "Don’t let the scandals distract you. This election should be understood in a much broader, world historical context: We are in a time when old norms are falling and new ones are being established, and through a multidimensional fight in which all sides appear to be attacking the middle."

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WILD: Class of 2016-2017

WILD: Class of 2016-2017

Posted by Jamee Greer at Sep 29, 2016 01:06 PM |

WILD, the Western Institute for Leadership Development, is a year-long intensive training program for emerging organizers and activists begun by Western States Center in 1994. Presenting the 11th class of Western States Center’s organizing and analysis program! This class comes from a large geographic area, but shares a vision of how working for racial, gender and economic justice are critical to the survival of our planet and its people. Together they represent many organizing strategies, identities and experiences.

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A Recap of the Be Bold, Be BRAVE: Reproductive Justice Summit, August 5th and 6th, 2016

A Recap of the Be Bold, Be BRAVE: Reproductive Justice Summit, August 5th and 6th, 2016

Posted by Jamee Greer at Sep 29, 2016 12:35 PM |

Western States Center created the Reproductive Justice Summit to expand the conversation on reproductive health, rights and access in Oregon. Rooted in workshops created by participants in the We are BRAVE program over the last 18 months, 137 participants representing 54 organizations, and including many non-affiliated community members, came to share their knowledge on reproductive justice and strategize with others. Together participants worked to deepen our collective vision for creating communities where everyone can make the health care choices that meet their own needs, without shame or stigma. More importantly, strengthen solidarity for Reproductive Justice across communities, movements and decision makers.

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Ballot Measures: 2016 Update

Posted by kelleyw at Jul 15, 2016 04:05 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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