The Justice Leadership Program, supported by the Pacific Northwest Conference and Seattle UCC churches, is an affiliate of the UCC Young Adult Service Communities Network. Young adults spend eleven months developing leadership skills in faith-inspired justice-making through internships with community agencies, service in local congregations, a class on faith and justice, and spiritual sojourning with Sam Rennebohm. Three host churches support the program and work intensively with interns: All Pilgrims Christian Church, Keystone Congregational UCC, and Plymouth Church. Social justice interns this year will work with the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Faith Action Network, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.
Now (drum roll please…) here they are:
Amber Dickson is eager to begin her journey with the Justice Leadership Program. She attended Seattle Pacific University, graduating with a degree in psychology. While at SPU, Amber participated as an academic mentor for college freshmen as well as a tutor for the general psychology course. These experiences and others have shaped her desire for education reform, as well as making higher education more accessible. She believes that this year will provide opportunity to gain practical skills allowing her to work towards these changes related to education. Amber is never complacent in her desire to learn, and is extremely excited to begin her work with the Faith Action Network (FAN), where she will expand her awareness of the issues and policies that impact the state of Washington. She is also hoping to restore her belief that faith communities can produce great works. Amber is also excited about serving with Keystone United Church of Christ and exploring her own faith through the course of this year.
Emmanuel Mancilla is very much looking forward to serving this year with the Justice Leadership Program and working alongside Plymouth Church and The Church Council of Greater Seattle. He is excited to be living in the lively area that is Capitol Hill, but he is most excited to be a part of conversations surrounding justice advocacy issues in our city. Emmanuel was born and raised in the city of Tacoma and recently graduated from Seattle Pacific University (SPU) with a major in Sociology and minor in Theological Reconciliation. During his time at SPU, he was actively involved in intercultural initiatives as Vice President of Intercultural Affairs in SPU’s student government and President of the Latino Club. He helped create SPU’s first Reconciliation Summit and was involved in the John Perkins Center for leadership in community development. His hope is that his experiences this year can give him a better understanding of how to preach a Gospel that is stronger than race, economic standing, and skin color–as civil rights activist John Perkins states: “to preach a reconciled gospel.”
Hillary Coleman is excited to be part of the Justice Leadership Program (JLP) this year, through which she will be working with the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH), serving at All Pilgrims Christian Church, and learning alongside the three other amazing interns. Hillary was born and raised in Lake Forest Park, and grew up attending University Congregational UCC in Seattle. She is glad to be back in the place she calls home after completing her double major in Psychology & Hispanic Studies, and earning a certificate from a three-year program focusing on Public Policy and Community Action, at Connecticut College. Last summer she worked with the Statewide Poverty Action Network, putting into action her passion for working with others to create positive change. Hillary is a firm believer in making sure that all community members are involved in policy creation, decision, and implementation. She hopes to continue to learn how to maintain and further such relationships in policy making and is excited to collaborate with SKCCH and its member organizations to carry out their mission of ensuring safety and survival for people without homes, and to end the crisis of homelessness in our region.
Honah Thompson is excited to embark on the amazing journey that is the Justice Leadership Program in Seattle for the next year. In looking for experience before graduate studies in medical social work, she was hoping to find opportunities that would allow for continued participation in active community while spending time doing meaningful work. She feels she has found that and so much more in this amazing program that will offer spiritual sojourning, justice leadership classes, church service at Plymouth Congregational Church, and an internship at the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. Honah is a native of Santa Rosa, California (north of San Francisco in Sonoma County’s wine country). She recently graduated from Chapman University with a BA in Sociology and Religious Studies with an emphasis in social work. Fun facts about Honah: she is the proud owner of two mice (named Manny and Desmond), she used to work as a duck trainer and chicken midwife, and she bungee jumped from the tallest bungee bridge in the world during her semester abroad in South Africa.
You can stay in touch with the four interns by reading their blogs at www.justiceleadership.org. Or look for them at Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day, Interfaith Advocacy Day, the Pacific Northwest Conference Annual Meeting, and wherever folks are gathering to build communities of compassion and justice!
Thank you so much for supporting this program! And let us know if you’d like to learn more about bringing social justice interns to your part of the Pacific Northwest Conference!