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Rectangular banner image. Background is a light blue tinted illustration of an estuary with three cartoon beavers playfully positioned around the edges. Golden confetti falls from the top. Text reads Thank you communityWe can’t believe it happened and we’re blown away by your love and support — the SJF staff sends a huge THANK YOU to our community for turning out last Saturday at Ecosystems of Change: SJF’s 2022 Celebration!

Picture of SJF staff and guest speaker Alexis Pauline Gumbs taking a selfie
Alexis Pauline Gumbs and SJF staff take a selfie

When we first started planning for this year’s event, we had no idea what to expect: would local COVID rates be low enough to more safely gather in person? Could we plan an event that was as fun and engaging for online participants as those in person? Could we capture the spirit of deep love and celebration that we were so lucky to share with y’all before the pandemic started?

As it turns out, the answer to all those questions was a resounding YES!

Picture of Elisha a nonbinary Black person playing guitar on a stage. They are surrounded by plants and a backdrop of white paper flowers.
Elisha plays guitar during the reception

We kicked things off last Saturday with smooth tunes from the angelic Elisha (send a tip their way here!). Emcee Andriana got the program started an hour later; we heard a powerful land and labor acknowledgement from Executive Director Valériana, reflections on the past year from staffer Alison, beautiful words on ecosystems and grassroots organizing from Roy Iradukunda of grantee Black Liberation Collective, ID, meditations from keynote speaker Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and a stirring pitch from board members Taylor and Ranfis, all bookended by Black Belt Eagle Scout’s haunting performances.

Our highlight of the evening was the keynote speech from author and poet Alexis Pauline Gumbs, full of lessons from the well-paced harbor seal and influential orca, as well as meditations on collectivity, change, urgency, and love. An excerpt:

What if we paid attention to our hearts and what they are teaching us about how manufactured urgency impacts what it feels like to be together. Or what pace we require individually and especially collectively to be responsive to our changing landscape, not just desperately drawing on our default reactions or trauma responses. What I’ve learned it that my community deserves the version of me that is in a constant practice of study of and with my own heart. And what might that look like for you?

Watch Alexis’ entire keynote speech:

Through your generosity, we’ve raised $68,000 so far for SJF’s general fund! If you haven’t made a donation yet and would like to, click here to support SJF’s resource mobilizing for grassroots change!


Screenshot of online event attendees in a zoom call
Online attendees enjoy Elisha’s music

We send a giant, deeply heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who supported us by joining, donating, and spreading the word! We can’t describe how special it was gather, laugh, eat, meditate, and share space with our community. We’re so grateful you’re part of our ecosystem of change.


Picture of a large group of masked people talking in a large event space

Selfie of Andriana Taylor Alexis and Valeriana Black women and femmes wearing stylish printed outfits posing together in a green room
Andriana, Taylor, Alexis, and Valériana share a Black girl magic moment in their printed outfits