Chris Chambers started work as our new Social Justice Coordinator in January 2023. Their pronouns are the singular they, their, and theirs and they are 30 years old. Chris became an activist at 16 and has been involved in grassroots organizing ever since. They worked at a food justice project, called Food not Bombs, in Seattle before moving to this area. Chris moved to Tijuana in 2011 where they continued to work with Food not Bombs (or Comida No Bombas) with people who've been deported and/or are unhoused. They felt this corner of the world has special geopolitical significance, that would challenge their white privilege while allowing them to continue working in social justice. Chris worked with Angela Fujii, our previous Social Justice Coordinator, at Casa Arcoiris, in Tijuana. Most recently, they've worked with transgender asylum seekers, as a paralegal.
Their first experience with First UU was as a recipient of theGenerosity offering for Casa Arcoiris in 2019, an LGBTQI migrants' organization in Tijuana, designed to help asylum seekers coming in from Central and South America. Clients receive legal aid, healthcare, and mental health support free of charge. The organization also provides English classes.
Chris has also worked at Enclave Caracol in Tijuana where patrons can access the Internet, access computers, receive phone calls, use the bathroom, get water to drink. They have several projects there, such as a food kitchen, coffee cart, bike workshop, and a movie club.
Chris was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition. When they turned 15, their ideas about social justice and radical politics broadened. They wanted more inclusivity in their spiritual journey, especially around LGBTQI issues. This led them to join the United Church of Christ (UCC). Chris still works part-time at the UCC church in Poway.
As Social Justice Coordinator, they feel finding the new normal in terms of social justice may look a little different than it has since the pandemic. They would like to see social justice become more of a spiritual presence in the congregation. One of their roles will be to plug in First UU members and friends where they fit into social justice. Also, they'd like to engage the wider community in a way that builds relationships between organizations and movements with First UU.
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