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Welcoming New Leadership to PEERS

"We are outgrowing every construct meant to divide and disempower us."
  ~~  adrienne maree brown

Dear PEERS subscribers and readers,

After nearly 20 years of working full time on the PEERS websites, it is time for me to step back and welcome new energy and fresh ideas to come to the fore in our work. In 2021, we received a major cryptocurrency donation which enabled us last year to hire a wonderful, highly talented young woman Amber Yang. After working with us for over six months now, Amber is up to speed on most of our work and has already taken over a significant part of my work load. I am now working only half time on PEERS as Amber steps up to gradually take the reins of this great organization.

Amber is beautifully aligned with the PEERS mission of cultivating community and transformation through inspiration and education. She has lots of creative ideas, a few of which she shares in her first message to you below. Please warmly welcome Amber and support her in our great work to educate the public to the deeper forces of all that is going on in our world and in inspiring us all to come together to make a difference and shine our light brightly in these dark and challenging times.

With very best wishes for a transformed world,
Fred Burks
PEERS Executive Director

Hello PEERS readers!

This message serves as a preview of some of what’s to come, including the introduction of who I am as a new team member for PEERS. My name is Amber Yang, and I feel humbled to be working for an organization dedicated to personal and social transformation.

I’ll be assuming many of the leadership duties that keep our efforts afloat, while Fred gradually transitions to the sidelines as a guide and adviser for me and our other important team members. I’ll also play an active part in redesigning certain aspects of, while also curating new and relevant content. Some of this involves developing online centers for constructive societal solutions, media literacy skills, and a video vlog series!

As a millennial awakening to the magnitude of corruption and the polycrisis facing society, I am curious about how I can use my time and energy wisely while I’m here on this planet. I feel called to be an increasingly effective translator in the face of groupthink, divisive politics, and complex social realities. Going further, I am passionate about being a convener of positive, creative change.

For the past 8 years, I’ve been climbing the ladder of insight, personal growth, and activism on many different fronts. For over 6 years, I worked in the trenches of public education: teaching social-emotional education and mindfulness to at-risk youth in San Francisco, running a comprehensive wellness center while serving as the Restorative Justice Coordinator for a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area, and teaching nonviolence and holistic health studies at San Francisco State University.

My understanding of societal challenges deepened working with Safe Tech International on wireless radiation and Big Tech corruption, and with Project Censored on media literacy skills, the impact of corporate media ownership, censorship, and propaganda. It was here that I co-created a new model for journalism and media, that reinvents outdated narratives, engages people across political and cultural lines, and emphasizes collective power and the common good.

Something I’m coming to in my journey is that we can't make sense of our times alone, nor within our own echo chambers. I’ve worked with a lot of different personalities, across diverse efforts and spaces. The challenges and opportunities of human collaboration is what led me to attain my Master’s degree in Organizational Development and Change at Sonoma State University in Northern California in 2020.

My activism isn’t just based on the facts and data stored in my head about how the world works. The future I believe worth aspiring for fosters social-emotional intelligence in how we relate to ourselves, each other, and the world. An activism that invites us to undergo personal transformation, knowing ourselves outside the distress of oppression and fear to create the world we want to live in. An activism that mobilizes systems thinking to support shifts in human consciousness, increasing our ability and capacity to construct new, creative connections beyond polarized, linear thinking.

As a digital artist and freestyle dancer, my activism also focuses on the power of what art can bring to social movements. You can learn more about me on my website, which is a living journal of personal insights, writing, and media appearances.

Thanks for tuning in, PEERS community!

In warm gratitude,
Amber Yang

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