Kayse Jama is a Zen master of justice organizing. I mean that in the truest Zen sense: His approach is one that ends false divisions, that asks people to see the connections, the commonalities, the mutual interests that arise when looking at problems with, as Buddhist would put it, the right vision.
It took over 3 months for us to connect for this interview, and it was worth the wait. This is the most challenging, the most educational conversation I have ever had. I understand now that while I work on issues of importance to me, such as mental health, that I will contribute to Kayse’s work & the work of others throughout the community – if I bring a social justice lens to my work.
This interview is worth several listens even if it’s longer than usual. Kayse is someone who has lived through experiences few of us can imagine. He shares his wisdom freely, and we’d be foolish to not take advantage.
Kayse is Executive Director of Unite Oregon; their mission:
Led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty, we work across Oregon to build a unified intercultural movement for justice.