We are excited to introduce you to our newest staff members: David De La Torre, our new Healthy Climate Program Director, Samantha Hernandez, our Climate Justice Organizer, and Jackie Lamars, our new Program Assistant. Once you get a chance to meet them, you’ll see why we are so thrilled to have them on our team. We also bid a fond farewell to Damon Motz-Storey, our outgoing Healthy Climate Program Director, and Katy Morrow, our 2020-2021 Program Assistant. Continue reading to learn more about staff transitions at Oregon PSR.
David (he/him/él) joins Oregon PSR with more than six years of community engagement experience. He earned his MA in history at the University of Iowa, where he designed and taught a course on historical research skills and community engagement approaches. As a grassroots organizer, planner, and community volunteer, he led and managed campaigns and programs related to social, racial, and environmental justice. These experiences include leading community engagement for a city-wide flood resilience action plan and facilitated town halls and input sessions to re-imagine campus safety at a university campus. During the 2020 Iowa Caucuses, he was a field organizer for the Julián Castro Presidential Campaign and volunteered for several other local campaigns in eastern Iowa as both a campaign advisor and canvassing volunteer. As the Healthy Climate Program Director, he is excited to direct and collaborate in programs in community and coalition to advance equity, climate, and environmental justice.
Samantha (she/her) joined Oregon PSR’s staff in May of 2021 as our Climate Justice Organizer. Her efforts are focused on supporting campaigns and coalitions advocating for climate justice and a just transition to clean renewable energy for all. Samantha works to support coalitions such as Stand Up To Oil, Power Past Fracked Gas, Pacific Northwest Forest Climate Alliance, and the Oregon Just Transition Alliance. She graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a bachelor’s degree in hispanic studies and environmental studies. After Miami, Samantha considers Portland to be a second home. The enriching friendships she has made while interning at local organizations like Portland Harbor Community Coalition, Portland VOZ, and Growing Gardens has greatly informed her perspectives on the importance of frontline community-led action and intersectional environmentalism.
Jackie (she/they) is a recent graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, and was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. She will be working with Oregon PSR over the next year through the Quaker Voluntary Service Fellowship program. Throughout this year, she will be focusing on the development of the 2022 Greenfield Peace Scholarship and providing social media support. As a Race and Gender Studies major, Jackie participated in a wide array of justice work during college, which included improving school resources for reproductive health and expanding equitable Title IX policies. Her studies were supplemented by enriching internships with the Pittsburgh Refugee Youth Support and Education Academy (2019) and Susquehanna Legal Education for Adults and Youth (2020), which shaped her passions for widespread access to education and humane alternatives to war and prisons.
Along with welcoming these new staff members, we are bidding a fond farewell to two other staff members as they transition off our team.
After five years with us, starting as a Quaker Voluntary Service Fellow and eventually taking on the role of Healthy Climate Program Director, Damon Motz-Storey is not going far as they move to a new position as Communications and Development Manager with our friends at the Coalition of Communities of Color. I am so grateful for all that Damon has brought to our organization over the past five years, and I’m excited to share the good news that Damon has agreed to join the Oregon PSR Advisory Board and stay connected as a volunteer.
I am also sending our immense gratitude to our 2020-2021 Program Assistant Katy Morrow, who brought her passion for justice and her stellar organizing, video production, and social media skills to our work over the past year. Katy is putting the finishing touches on our 40th anniversary video highlighting some of our work over the last four decades, which you will not want to miss! The video will premiere at our online 40th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, November 18th beginning at 6:30 PM. RSVP now to join us online on November 18th!
Financial support from our members is what makes it possible for Oregon PSR to staff our organization with such talented and passionate people. Please join our Cultivation Circle of 40th anniversary sponsors to help us continue our vital work for the next 40 years.