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Banner image with red green white and black illustration of a night sky with moon stars and clouds to echo the Palestinian flag. Text reads We are on pause. December 18 through December 12.

It’s that time of year again—SJF is going on our month-long pause! Our staff are out of office starting today, Monday, December 18th and will return the week of January 15, 2024. During this time, expect delayed responses from our entire team as we prioritize rest and healing as part of our Black Liberation and wellness lens. You can read more about why we do this pause and how it feeds into our organization values and structures in this blog post.

If you have urgent needs or questions that come up during this period, please send your emails to and include in the subject line “emergency” or “urgent” as we will be checking this account periodically and can ensure your message is forwarded to the appropriate party.

As we creep up to the winter solstice, SJF is centering our organizational value of abundance. Winter holidays can be a reminder of how much we have and how much we have to give; of the relationships and communities that hold us; and of how much light we can create together. In that spirit, we’re so excited to share our new blog post exploring abundance written by our Executive Director Valériana C.B. Estes, the fifth post in our values blog series! With her own personal relationship to abundance as the frame, Valériana explores abundance and scarcity in social justice movements, philanthropy, and within SJF. Give it a read today!

What are SJF staffers getting up to on break?

Although our staff will be doing limited official Social Justice Fund activities during this break, movements for justice and liberation continue on. In addition to some very necessary rest and time with loved ones, many of our staff will utilize this time to organize for Palestine sovereignty, deepen their understanding of Black liberation, and participate in local grassroots efforts. We encourage all of our supporters, members, and comrades to also utilize upcoming breaks from your day-to-day rhythm to check in with yourself and the movements you’re a part of and deepen your commitment to social justice to be prepared to hit the ground running in 2024!

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If you’re stuck on how to deepen your learnings during this time, here are some recommendations from staff:

  • Valériana C.B. Estes, Executive Director, recommends the movie RUSTIN (available on Netflix) about the life of Bayard Rustin, a major advisor to Martin Luther King Jr., who made amazing contributions to the Civil Rights movement, but whose legacy has been erased because of his identity as a queer Black man.
  • Kaylen H, Donor Systems Manager, recommends the podcast Trillbilly Worker’s Party which covers leftist issues and organizing, available on all major podcast platforms.
  • Emily Chu, Project Manager, recommends the book Elite Capture by Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò. Haymarket Books writes, “Táíwò’s crucial intervention both elucidates this complex process and helps us move beyond a binary of “class” vs. “race.”
  • Marc M, Operations Manager, recommends The Spirit Underground, a spiritual-abolition focused podcast by Lama Rod Owens and Spring Washam, available on all major podcast platforms.

Continue to organize for Palestine and all oppressed people in 2024, and beyond!

The words of Hala Alyan, a Palestinian writer and activist, are still ringing in our heads: “We owe Gaza endurance…bearing witness is an honor.” Palestinians are now entering their third month of Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza, a campaign that has killed thousands and thousands of innocent people and destroyed entire neighborhoods, sacred religious and historical sites, and ecologies. We might grow tired of seeing the bloodshed; our instinct might be to turn away from the extreme violence, suffering, and inhumanity. But as Alyan so poignantly reminds us, it is our responsibility as activists, community members, and citizens of the world to bear witness to what’s happening occupied Palestine and to fight fiercely against apartheid, against genocide, and against state violence and ethnic cleansing. 

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Read SJF’s original solidarity statement here, and find our post on sustained solidarity throughout the holiday season here, with recommendations for donations, actions, education, and more to support Palestinian liberation over the next month. If you’re in our 5-state region and looking to connect with local pro-Palestine organizations and activists, click here to email Aisha. Additionally, click here to follow the SJF instagram for more updates and for resources on supporting Palestinian liberation.

As long as there are those of us fighting for justice, there is always hope for Gaza.

In community,

Aisha Al-Amin and the staff of Social Justice Fund NW

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Felecia Phillips Ollie DD (h.c.) is the inspiring leader and founder of The Equality Network LLC (TEN). With a background in coaching, travel, and a career in news, Felecia brings a unique perspective to promoting diversity and inclusion. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in English/Communications, she is passionate about creating a more inclusive future. From graduating from Mississippi Valley State University to leading initiatives like the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Felecia is dedicated to making a positive impact. Join her journey on our blog as she shares insights and leads the charge for equity through The Equality Network.

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