Alex Montances served with Solid Ground’s JustServe AmeriCorps program from 2007-2008. His placement was the Asian Pacific Islander Women and Family Safety Center, helping to coordinate the Annual Vigil for Victims of Domestic Violence at the King County Courthouse, and leading educational peer groups with high school aged Asian and Pacific Islander young men on anti-oppression topics, dating violence and sexual assault.
Read below to hear how Alex was impacted by his participation in JustServe AmeriCorps at Solid Ground–and the powerful work that Alex is doing in the community, today:
“Today I am a second year graduate student at California State University Long Beach in their Applied Anthropology program. My focus is on advocacy and social services for Filipino American immigrants, organizations, and communities. I hope to do advocacy and research consulting for non-profit organizations, state, city and federal institutions so that they can better serve Filipino immigrant communities. I also work with a Filipino American Youth group called AnakBayan Los Angeles that teaches youth about Filipino culture and history while fighting for youth rights and human rights for Filipino communities around the world. Currently, with AnakBayan I teach educational workshops on Filipino culture/history, anti- imperialism, and human rights to Filipino youth and students in the greater Los Angeles county area.
I learned so many great things about people’s movements, anti-oppression, non-profit work, and community activism through JustServe AmeriCorps. There were things I learned about racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, age-ism, able-ism and other forms of oppression in those team meetings that I would have never learned in school or though my friends and family. I learned on the job about humility, patience, and hard work. I learned more about active leadership and teamwork at my placement site, and how people navigate through systems to do real community work.
If anyone is thinking about joining an AmeriCorps program you should really consider JustServe. Its focus on anti-oppression and anti-violence is extremely valuable and will give you many tools to work with communities. Be open to challenge yourself and what you know about marginalized communities and you will definitely grow as an individual and a leader in this program.
If you are a current JustServe AmeriCorps Member, thank you for your service! You will never forget or regret the work you do here! If you are unsure of what to do after your service, talk to your placement site, teammates, team leaders and others in the community, and you may find some unexpected opportunities waiting for you. If you are interested in Filipino communities and human rights, please contact JustServe team leaders and ask for my contact information, I would love to chat.
I loved my experience at JustServe AmeriCorps, and I know that real social change happens when you work together and empower local people to change their communities for the better. Thank you to Solid Ground, Just Serve AmeriCorps, and the Asian Pacific Islander Women and Family Safety Center whose guidance and friendship helped me to serve my communities in meaningful ways.”