Celebrating Young Religious Leaders: Another Great Summer with the Ziegler Fellowship

It's been such a privilege and pleasure to work with this particular group of fellows. They are a sharp, creative and passionate cohort. Three came to speak at my congregation last Sunday. One of our members said meeting them gave him hope that there are bright, compassionate young people who care about more than just themselves and their careers, bank accounts and 401ks; they care about building a more just economy and society for everyone.

To send off our interns, we asked them to share a bit about their experience by answering the question,

“What’s something you’ve seen or learned during YRLF that’s changed you?”


Cynthia.jpg“Immigration is often talked about but hardly acted upon; forming part of UCARE Coalition has exposed me to different organizations advocating and reacting to the Northern Triangle crisis and has created a huge impact in my life. One thing I will never forget: This children are not immigrants, they are NOT illegal, they are REFUGEES.”

- Cynthia Ramirez, Immigration - UCARE Coalition





“Learning about the rich history of the impact faith communities have in social movements. Learning from faith leaders addressing the deeper and spiritual roots of injustice. Powerful experience of rallying and marching with various faith leaders in supporting a fair contract for local grocery workers.”

- David Kim, Big 3 Grocery Worker Campaign



“This fellowship gave me the experience to learn about social justice in different spaces of faith. I was embraced in each church, temple, and synagogue I walked onto. I even got the chance to tell my story and share the impact that my faith plays in my work in social justice for the first time at a church service.”

- Andrea Perez, Downtown LA and Responsible Moral Development


13631539_10201898674426418_5751192013986214416_n_(2).jpg“One major place of transformation for me during YRLF came through the meaningful, authentic relationships with other fellows. They have shown me how to be human through the beauty and power of embracing our differences in relationship and also in the work of social justice.”

- Mary Duong, Building A Healthy Santa Ana


IMG_1627.jpg“One of the things that has changed me in this work has been my one-on-one conversations with people who aren't a part of clue yet. I came into this fellowship having seen faith leaders do everything they could to tip toe around "sensitive subjects", but through my one-on-ones I interacted with a lot of people who were so wanting to dive into the work that CLUE is doing, that for me it helped reconcile this view of faith leaders engaging with justice.”

- Jordan Esqueda, San Fernando Valley Committee

IMG_1617.jpg“This summer, I have learned how women and people of color have traditionally been excluded from the labor movement and how that exclusion has affected generations of workers. The employer/employee relationship, which is already fraught with unequal power dynamics, is only complicated when gender and race are at play. Employers use their economic, racial, and gendered power to exploit workers, which is why it's important for CLUE to work towards economic, racial, and gender justice.”

- Katharine Tobler, CLUE POWER and Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights


“Being a summer Ziegler fellow has shown me the simplicity of what it takes to be in a radical movement. I am referring to the relationship-building that is so vital to this work. It is so powerful to know that movements happen because of strong relationships between individuals.”

- Lexi Subra, West LA & Sofitel Hotel




AlinaWorkClue.jpg“Throughout this summer I have had the most amazing experiences talking to Clergy about their faith journeys and beliefs. Many leaders told me their conversion stories. I was most shocked and changed by the power of God in these stories to completely transform the pathway these people were on before they became Clergy. The reality that someone could be on a path towards financial and social success and fame, yet in an hour, or a day, or a week everything could change shocks me, but also strengthens my faith.”

- Alina Salvatierra, Evangelical Organizing


You can read more about this amazing group of interns at ClueJustice.org/YRLF2016.

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