My name is Kristen Kuriga and I am the Social Justice and South Bay Ministry Teams Coordinator at First Church. My passion for social justice began while I was at Sarah Lawrence College, where I completed my BA with a focus in social movements, labor history, and politics in 2004.
Coming from a working class family and being the first person in my family to go to college, my studies sparked in me the desire to transform the injustices that my own family experienced. After graduating, I worked as the coordinator of the New York Union Semester Program, and then moved to San Diego to be a researcher and community organizer for the Justice for Janitors campaign. I have also served at the San Diego regional organizer for California Faith for Equality.
Most recently, I completed my Masters in Peace and Justice Studies at the University of San Diego, where I focused my studies on youth transforming violence in their communities through art and organizing. Around the same time that I found social justice as my vocation, I also discovered meditation, a spiritual practice that has deepened my life personally and has taught me about the importance of mindfulness and reflection in social action.
For me, social action is a spiritual practice, grounded in my belief of the interconnectedness of all beings and the need to create a world where all beings are valued. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve First Church and to have a position that fulfills my vision of bringing together social justice and spiritual practice.
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