Serve on NJP Board of Directors, Connect with Students About Your Summer Internship, Tips to Avoid Burnout & Criminalization of the Poor

Apply to Serve on the Northwest Justice Project’s Board of Directors

NJP_LogoApplication Deadline: Sept. 5, 2013. That’s tomorrow folks!

The Northwest Justice Project has an opening on its Board of Directors for three attorneys, for three-year terms starting Jan. 1, 2014. NJP is a statewide not-for-profit law firm providing free legal services to low-income people from 13 offices.

For more information about the position and how to apply, see the Volunteer Opportunities area of the WSBA website.

Just Finished your Summer Internship, Externship or Volunteer Experience? Want Other Students to Benefit and Learn from Your Experience? Got 3 minutes?

networkingIf you answered YES to all of these questions then be sure to add your contact info to our public service student experiences database so that other students can connect with you to learn about your internship, externship or volunteer experience! Click here to access the database and add your contact info.  Be ready to enter your UW NetID to access the database. Please note that this database is only available for current UW law students.

From Fired up to Burnt Out: 7 tips to help you sustain a life committed to social justice

Stone CirclesBy Lindsey Mullen, Reprinted by Idealist.org, photo credit stone circles at The Stone House

When she was an organizer in the 1990s, Claudia Horwitz began to notice that many of the people she worked with were overworked, exhausted, and stressed out. Responding to the urgent need she saw in the activist community, Claudia founded stone circles, an organization that works to strengthen and sustain people committed to transformation and justice.

Since 2007, stone circles has been based in Mebane, North Carolina at The Stone House, a retreat and training center on 70 acres of land. One of stone circles’ primary goals is to address high rates of burnout among activists and organizers.

Burnout is more than just a busy week at work—it’s the long-term result of carrying continual stress, exhaustion, anxiety, or isolation.

Here are some tips from stone circles for addressing burnout:

1. Develop a personal practice.

A practice is simply a habit that gives us energy and reminds us of what matters most. Having a practice helps us pay concentrated attention to the inner voice—a presence that has the power to continually re-inform the activities of our daily lives. Mindful breathing, yoga, meditation, prayer, and journal writing are all examples of personal practice. Choose a practice that replenishes you and commit to doing it daily for a month. This can help make it a habit. Conitinue reading here.

Civility 

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by Tim Harris, Real Change Executive Director, Alliance for Equal Justice September Newsletter
A Pioneer Square business owner angrily compares homeless people in a nearby park to pigeons and demands in a public meeting that they be cleared away immediately.  Yakima considers new anti-panhandling legislation, and sheriffs in Snohomish County are ticketing freeway on-ramp beggars for pedestrian interference.
While all of this is recent, none of it is new.  Over the past two decades, as the numbers of homeless people have steadily risen, visible poverty has been criminalized across the United States, with a battery of legislation to prohibit sitting or lying on public sidewalks, camping on public property, overnight parking, panhandling, feeding people in public, and even the possession of a shopping cart or a blanket.
While these laws have added to the troubles that poor people face with fines, jail time, and criminal records that makes it harder to find housing and work, homelessness itself has continued to rise.
Recent budget cuts at both the state and federal levels have not helped.  Over the past four years, more than $20 million has been slashed from Washington state programs offering mental health and addiction treatment services to the very poor.
Once proposed, these laws, driven by fear and prejudice, almost always pass.  Seattle has provided a few recent exceptions, but these stand as a fragile hedge against the greater trend. Continue reading here.