Activist Kelsen Caldwell enacts social justice in communities and on buses


Alum Kelsen Caldwell (’13, Cultural Studies) continues to expand their horizons and recently became a Housing Justice Organizer with LGBTQ Allyship. In this role, they are helping launch and facilitate the LGBTQ Housing Leadership Institute.  Of this endeavor, Kelsen writes, “Housing costs are on the rise, which puts LGBTQ communities at increased risk of homelessness, displacement, and general economic insecurity. The institute is an awesome opportunity to be part of a cohort of emerging housing justice leaders who can build fierce and grounded solutions through organizing with the communities that matter the most.”

Kelsen is also a lead organizer with the Coalition for Anti-Racist Whites, a Seattle based organization that educates, organizes, and mobilizes white people to show up for racial justice. Current campaigns they organize focus on fossil fuel divestment and stopping police and prison expansion projects in Seattle. They also have organized with BAYAN Pacific Northwest for three years with a focus on dismantling US imperialism and supporting the sovereignty of the people of the Philippines. Kelsen’s article, “A Call to Disrupt White-Dominated Architectural and Public Policy Imaginariess,” was featured in the March/April 2017 edition of The Funambulist, and in December 2016, they published "Toward a Fierce, Liberatory White Anti-Racist Practice in the Times of Trumpfor the South Seattle Emerald. 

In addition to formal organizing, Kelsen is a part-time bus driver for King County Metro Transit, a job that provides the resources and flexibility to sustain themself as an activist. Kelsen is also starting a new podcast with friend and organizing buddy, Jessica Ramirez. The podcast will be called the Opposition Party and will feature stories and visions from local organizers, educators, movers, and shakers. Stay tuned for the first episode!   

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