MEET jcira's STAFF
JCIRA relies on its exceptional staff, including Natalia Durán, our outreach coordinator, and Courtney Morales Thrall, the JCIRA Multicultural Center administrator. Here's more about them:
NATALIA dURAN, jcira OUTREACH COORDINATOR
Natalia, our outreach coodinator, is helping us build more bridges across our community. One of her first accomplishments when she began work, in May 2023, was to initiate a new program to help immigrant families and send kids to summer camps. Since then, she has continued to assist JCIRA in multiple ways. She also serves as facilitator for our Women's Justice Group. Since then Natalia has been a driving force at JCIRA and has helped to organize many activities and opportunities for immigrants.
NATALIA RECOGNIZED BY AAUW
In November 2023, Natalia Duran was recognized by the Port Townsend Chapter of American Association of University Women (AAUW) for her achievements, as noted in the Peninsula Daily News. Her work with immigrants in the local community and her previous experience volunteering for Dove House were among the activities for which she was honored.
JCIRA is proud to have Natalia as our outreach coordinator.
WHAT NATALIA HAS TO SAY
Here's what Natalia wrote when introducing herself to JCIRA:
I always dreamed of becoming for others, the kind of person who showed me the world in a larger way, like my teacher Fernando who took us on the best field trips I could have as a child in México, and changed little by little, how I saw life’s possibilities. Since I was a teenager, I was passionate about social justice. Little did I know I would be doing this in a foreign country in a different language.
I started by volunteering at Dove House, which was an eye- opener to the needs of my community from a much closer experience. Whether because of fear, cultural differences or language, whatever the reason, many in the immigrant community don’t feel comfortable using services that are available. I knew I wanted to be there for someone in a more vulnerable situation.
A few years ago, people from JCIRA started coming to the coffee hour at my church to meet with the Hispanic community, to learn about our needs at a time when fear was increasing because of what was happening in this country politically. This kind of connection made us feel less isolated in our fears and an important part of a larger community. With that confidence we can dream even bigger, and help JCIRA dream bigger.
Some people, all they need is one opportunity to take it and soar.
JCIRA Outreach Coordinator
courtney morales thrall, Jcira multicultural center administrator
Courtney Morales Thrall (she/her/ella) is JCIRA’s new Multicultural Center Administrator. Courtney is a longtime activist and educator with strong ties to the immigrant community. Before moving to Washington State in 2016, she spent seven years working as a youth gardening teacher in Pittsburgh Public Schools in Pennsylvania. Courtney also spent several years organizing with Let’s Get Free: The Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee.
In 2017-2021, she served on JCIRA’s board, part of that time as a co-chair. In addition to JCIRA, she has volunteered with our partner organization, Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center (KIAC), training as an accredited representative and providing support for their legal team with asylum cases.
In 2019, Courtney helped plan an immigration seminar at Clallam Bay Corrections Center, bringing legal education to incarcerated immigrants, with support from the Washington Defenders Network. In partnership with the Asian and Pacific Islanders Cultural Group (APICAG), she also created a class on intersectional feminism for people incarcerated in Washington State prisons. Courtney is passionate about border and prison abolition, intersectional feminism, anti-racism, community organizing, and human rights. Se habla espanol.