Jennifer Weakland

Peacebuilder, Quaker, Community-oriented, Relationship-oriented, focus on social sustainability, focus on international human rights advocacy


As of now, Jennifer is the Prison Justice Organizing Intern for On Earth Peace. Some of her other key commitments included serving as a Crew Leader mentoring four different girl crews for Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps. She also worked for the Patrick Henry YMCA- Aquatics Division, where she worked as a swim instructor. At Bridgewater College, she worked at the Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peace Building as a student advisory board member involved in the process of creating peace oriented events and activities for students.

On Earth Peace

On Earth Peace (OEP) focuses on supporting people who are working for justice and peace, helping them to develop as leaders in their communities. Jennifer's primary role at OEP has centered on community engagement, which involves outreach to group members. She does so by engaging group members in one-on-one calls and group discussions of prison justice issues, ultimately helping to spread educational information concerning prison justice issues. Furthermore, Jennifer is in the process of designing a prison justice t-shirt. Outside of the OEP framework, she is also connecting with other prison justice organizations to learn about their work and any volunteer opportunities they have for my group members and helping to educate other people working in the field of prison justice about upholding the principles of Kingian Nonviolence.

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Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps

Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps (VSPYCC) provides a three week experience to youth between the ages of fourteen and seventeen to live and complete volunteer work in Virginia State Parks with ten other girls or boys. This experience cultivates group working skills, group living skills, trustworthy relationships, and a chance to be independent outside of the home for youth. Jennifer's role in VSPYCC was being the crew leader for four different girls crews during her time working for YSPYCC. The role was not limited to simply leading a group- she had to be a mentor, friend, and parent to the girls, helping them stay motivated to complete their work while nurturing their emotional health as well. She was also responsible for creating a grocery budget and managing the state credit card, as well as being a communication liaison between her group and the park staff. 

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Patrick Henry YMCA- Aquatics Division

The Patrick Henry YMCA- Aquatics Divison provides a safe swimming environment for local patrons as well as providing swimming lessons and swimming safety instruction for patrons of all ages. Jennifer was responsible for lifeguarding the pool either as a team with other lifeguards or by herself, depending on the shift. Furthermore, she taught swimming lessons to students as young as 6 months and as old as eighty in groups of up to ten students, making sure they were able to learn safely while cultivating their swimming skills. 

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"I came to OEP seeking a justice-focused internship given my interests in human rights advocacy and peaceful conflict resolution. Previously, I was aware of the struggles facing the justice system in America. However, after becoming the Prison Justice Organizing Intern for OEP, I discovered the depth of the human rights abuses carried out by the justice system in the US. Working with my group has shown me the valuable power of community-building through hearing the different insights of my group members and their experiences as practitioners of prison justice." 
-- Jennifer Weakland



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