Search PNC News for stories of people and churches in our UCC Conference:

Justice Leadership interns begin year of service

Eight Justice Leadership Program interns gathered in late August to share ideas of justice, create a community covenant, and tour places with histories of organizing for social change in Seattle.

JLP interns, alumni and staff (l to R) are Rich Gamble, Rachel Shinabarger, Neepam Shah, Erica West, Tanquarae McCadney, Allison Trezona, Ainsley Meyer, Elizabeth Dickinson; front row, Amber Dickson, Leda Zakarison, Daniel de la Rosa, Bri Little, and Danielle Walker.       Photo courtesy of Barbara Anderson

The Justice Leadership Program, sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Conference of the UCC, provides a year of hands-on justice leadership training and spiritual exploration to young adults, ages 21 to 35.

Interns live in intentional community and serve full-time at Seattle-area nonprofits doing advocacy, organizing and structural change.  The program is an affiliate of the UCC Young Adult Service Communities.

In 2017-18, JLP had seven interns serving six UCC congregations and each working 32 hours a week in a justice organization, contributing 224 hours of staff time per week. Participating UCC churches include Eagle Harbor (Bainbridge Island), Keystone, Liberation, Northshore (Woodinville), Plymouth and Prospect (Seattle).

“It’s a major contribution of the UCC in the Northwest to the work of justice,” said Rich Gamble, pastor of Keystone UCC and founder of the JLP originally through the Justice Witness Ministries Committee. 

The 2018-19 team is comprised of six first-year interns and two second-year interns. First year interns are Tanquarae McCadney, Ainsley Meyer, Neepam Shah, Rachel Shinabarger, Allison Trezona and Danielle Walker. Second year interns are Daniel de la Rosa and Erica West. Staff include Rich, executive director of Justice Leadership Northwest, Elizabeth Dickinson as JLP program manager, and Yuki Schwartz as sojourner with the young adults.

The Justice Leadership Program is one project of Justice Leadership Northwest, which seeks to transform individuals and communities through change for social justice. 

A second project is Justice Leadership Jubilee, a non-residential, 10-month program of nonprofit service, congregational leadership and collective reflection for older adults and adults who cannot commit to the intensity of the JLP. 

The third project, the Justice Leadership Pilgrimage, is a three-day immersion experience to learn about such issues as homelessness, hunger and immigration. 

For information, call 206- 320-0432 or 206-632-6021, email jlp.elizabeth@gmail. com, keystonejustice@gmail. com or visit justiceleadership. org.

Tanquarae McCadney comes from Ohio

Tanquarae is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and recent graduate of the University of Kentucky, where she interned with the Ohio Senate and Ohio Legislative Black Caucus as the first black caucus intern in history. She seeks to inspire a generation of leaders through mentorship and community service. Aspiring to be a civil rights attorney, a goal is to abolish the prison industrial complex.

Tanquarae will intern with the Homestead Community Land Trust to provide sustainable homeowning and community stability, and will serve at Liberation UCC.

Ainsley Meyer interns with Real Change Project

Growing up in Virginia and living in California for four years, Ainsley discovered her passion for community service and advocacy as an Americorps volunteer, working as a literacy tutor and after-school instructor in an underfunded middle school in San Jose.  She has continued turning her passion into positive action through LGBTQ+ advocacy. She likes reading, writing, running and camping.

Ainsley will intern with the Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project and serve with Prospect UCC in Seattle.

Neepam Shah seeks justice in the health care

Neepam, a New Jersey native attending Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, studied literature, cognitive science and public health at the College of New Jersey.  At both schools, he advocated for changes to deepen their commitment to diversity.  He is committed to radical empathy and is interested in social determinants of health.  In the JLP, he hopes to channel his empathy and knowledge towards productive advocacy. Committed to “learning and unlearning,” he welcomes dialogue. As a physician he plans to advocate for health care and a system that does right by the under-served.

Neepam will intern with the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness and will serve with Plymouth UCC.


Rachel Shinabarger brings global experience to Earth Ministry

Rachel Shinabarger, who recently graduated with a bachelor’s in global studies, spent three semesters abroad in Ecuador/Peru, Germany and Guatemala out of her desire to travel and experience other cultures.

She has a passion for cultivating justice globally, locally and personally.  A proponent of intersectionality, Rachel helped co-found and co-lead Students for Sustainable Living at her university and was active in anti-human trafficking initiatives. She has served in ministerial and mentoring roles with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks and Sky Lodge Christian Camp.  She loves deepening her faith through spiritual formation and meaningful conversations.  She is eager to live in a community earnestly living out the call to shalom in this world.

Rachel’s internship will be with Earth Ministry and she will serve with Eagle Harbor Congregational Church.

Allison Trezona will be at the Church Council

Allison just finished a year serving with the Lea Road United Reformed Church in Wolverhampton, England.  Growing up in First Congregational UCC at Naperville, Ill, near Chicago, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and statistics at St. Olaf College and spent summers working as a backpacking guide at Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. She also had a journey with youth through the Young Adults in Global Mission “Time for God and Global Ministries” programs, which supported her year at Lea Road URC, where she worked with youth in secular and religious contexts—playing ultimate Frisbee, performing music, exploring and pulling pranks.

Allison will intern with the Church Council of Greater Seattle and serve at Plymouth UCC.

Danielle Walker will work with immigrant youth

Danielle, a native of Nashville, is a recent graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, where she majored in sociology and in women’s and gender studies.  She is interested in social justice work related to domestic and sexual violence, immigration, LGBTQ issues and child welfare.  She enjoys face-timing a baby nephew, doing crossword puzzles and listening to girl groups.

Danielle will intern with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and serve at Keystone UCC.

Daniel de la Rosa will work with NW Immigrants Rights Project

Daniel is fired up for his second year with JLP, interning with the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project. He came to Seattle in August 2017 as a JLP intern first with SEIU Local 6 to organize a diverse group of service workers and move forward campaigns at Amazon HQ, SeaTac Airport and office parks throughout the region.  In February 2018, he joined the Children’s Alliance working for children’s legislative advocacy, where he worked with the Mobilization and Community Engagement teams to assemble their annual advocacy day in Olympia and fundraiser.

A first-generation Cuban-American from Miami, Daniel graduated in 2013 from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.  Two years after graduating, he joined a new Americorps program in Miami, named Florida Reading Corps.   In his two years with that, he worked with more than 50 preschool children as a literacy tutor, helping them learn to read. 

He will serve at Northshore UCC in Woodinville.

Erica West continues to serve Church Council of Greater Seattle

Erica West, known as “E,” joins the JLP for a second year to continue her internship with the Church Council of Greater Seattle, “building faith-filled power with religious communities across Seattle and King County,” she said. She will continue as a community organizer focusing on housing justice and related issues.

Originally from Alexandria, Va., she graduated in 2017 from William and Mary in Williamsburg. At the close of her second year with the JLP, she will matriculate to Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville to study for a master of divinity degree.  She is excited to engage in a second year of communal living and further investigation of the intersection between community organizing and faith. She will serve with Liberation UCC.


Copyright © September 2018


Share this article on your favorite social media Bookmark and Share