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I am the child of Thai immigrants, born and raised in Washington, passionate about social justice and community building, and someone who finds joy in dance, food, and a nice pot of tea.

Social Justice Fund Member Nathan Silpakit

Last year I was working someplace that had nothing to do with social justice and I was looking for a way to feed my social justice needs, so I joined Social Justice Fund’s Gender Justice Giving Project. Being part of a Giving Project allowed me to learn and build analysis and gave me a clear way to take action on some of the struggles and injustices in our communities.

I joined with 23 other Social Justice Fund members who had a similar desire to change the world. I’ve made some really great friends.

In one word, my experience was “awesome!”

I believe that the people most impacted by the issues need to lead the way to the solutions and we need to trust those leaders to develop strategies that work for their communities. And there isn’t just one solution that can be exported from community to community. The diversity of solutions and strategies I saw in Social Justice Fund grantees made me realize the strength, diversity and richness of movements for social justice.

Read about the 2015 Gender Justice Grantees here.

One of the organizations I learned about in the grant-making process that I was particularly inspired by was the Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) in Portland, OR. CIO’s Resilient Connections was formed by LGBTQ immigrant and refugee members to create space to support one another, plan, and organize to build power to address their issues of concern. As I was hearing them describe this program, it resonated with me as a queer person of color of immigrant parents. I would’ve loved having that resource to build a sense of community where I could find support to be my full self.

I am now part of the Social Justice Fund community and that takes some weight off of my shoulders. I feel good about what I can give because I’m joining with others that are giving too. Giving together makes a bigger impact in resourcing community organizations fighting for social change. And that means we’re investing in a community we want to see.