August 30, 2022

RSJ Spotlight: Jaime Stacy & SWAG

Racial & Social Justice Partner Spotlight Series

Each month we will be spotlighting an organization or individual in our community who is putting in the work to create real and lasting change for a more equitable Spokane.

Our Racial & Social Justice Partner Spotlight this August is Jaime Stacy and

Strong Women Achieving Greatness.


4 minute read


What is SWAG? 

Strong Women Achieving Greatness is a Prevention Organization, focused on creating pathways to health, success, and wholeness, transforming youth now for lasting change in life. While past efforts and money has been focused on intervention, Jaime has a transformational approach to building equity. 

SWAG creates a sense of belonging first, allowing youth to show up and be themselves. This helps create a space where youth are able to shift their mindset and grow their relationships with themselves and others. By understanding that they belong, they can contribute, and they have value. Equipping people with a sense of belonging allows them to connect with their own humanity. 

Health doesn’t just mean physical health. To Jaime, it means health of the whole person. When we learn who we are, we are better equipped to create healthy boundaries. Boundaries go beyond the physical and are important to our mental health. Jaime teaches young people that boundaries are for them and asks them how they want people to access them. When young folks know what they’re comfortable with, they can set up boundaries that truly serve them. 

Creating success not only requires knowing who you are, but being able to identify if the things you’re doing or experiencing are in service of yourself. Jaime encourages her students to embrace culture, learn more about themselves, and find out what they need to do to get what they want out of life. 

According to Jaime Stacy, putting people in touch with their humanity and the humanity of others allows them to experience true compassion. This true compassion doesn’t just allow us to sit there and feel bad for someone else, it compels us to take action. Understanding ourselves and each other’s humanity allows us to understand that we don’t lose anything when others have something, this strong identity allows us to offer and honor help. 

Relationship, Identity, & the Pursuit of Success

Relationship, identity, and the pursuit of success are the cornerstones of SWAG, equipping and empowering young people to build healthy relationships, create a sense of identity, and pursue success in sustainable ways. 

For Jaime, success means being able to have the support you need while doing what you like. She doesn’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Instead she asks them what they like, what they enjoy, and what their hobbies or passions are. Digging deeper into their passions she can ask how what they like is created. 

This opens up the pathways to becoming creators and entrepreneurs as young people start to learn more about the things they enjoy the most. First, the student might need to learn how things have been done in the field, so that they can then dream about what could be done and make it happen. 

Mentorship

The next step is connecting with someone who has experience and can guide the person in learning more and developing their passion. Mentorship not only helps the person being mentored, but Jaime points out that sharing brings belonging. It is a form of narrative therapy that allows people the experience of sharing their own story while helping someone else along theirs.  

How Did Jaime Get Started In This Work?

Jaime Stacy is a woman of many talents. A music prodigy at just five year old, she began playing the piano without any teaching or training. She was often asked to teach others and work with them on their music. 

She began teaching Sunday school at 15 years old and her passion for teaching really took off. As an adult, she worked in finance and then became a “domestic engineer.” Her budgeting, cleaning, scheduling, and life skills prompted friends and neighbors to ask for her help. Eventually, she started having groups in her house where she would teach life skills. Soon enough, these classes took off and community groups began asking her to come speak at events and gatherings. 

How Can Folks Connect With or Contribute to SWAG?

Jaime makes it a point to honor help as she teaches others the same; she says we can all start by finding what we needed as a child and becoming that for someone else. 

If you have a passion or story that you want to share with youth, you can connect with SWAG online. Jaime has people from around the country and world contributing and requesting virtual sessions to share. She loves having people share about their journey, how they got to where they are now. Jaime Stacy’s programs are gender, race, and overall human inclusive. Anyone is welcome to share and join in the learning process. 

Below are a few community resources she recommends for those who need things for youth or would like to contribute to youth in our community: 


Transformations Camp 2022

This year, through our partnership with Jaime and SWAG we brought back our youth empowerment camp called Transformations Camp.

The camp was held this past August for 20 youth ages 11-16 after a two year pause due to the pandemic. Check it out!

Camp 2022


YWCA Spokane’s Racial & Social Justice Committee

Our vision is to strive to be a consistently accurate resource for information on racial, ethnic, and cultural awareness to promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity in employment, in business practices, and in the care and services provided throughout the communities we serve.  For 2022, the RSJ Committee is focusing on

  • Community Partnerships
    • Enhance outreach efforts to community partners and liaisons to share ideas, support each other with action, and solidify connections. View the list of our RSJ Partners.
  • Events
    • Develop and host or co-host events to connect various groups of community members to share and understand each other’s stories. Events include movie nights, Stand Against Racism, equity & growth Challenge, and Transformations Camp for youth.
  • Education & Training
    • Provide training to YWCA staff, board of directors, mission partners and the community to allow awareness of subconscious thoughts or attitudes that affect our perceptions about people, the decisions we make, and the impact on our community.

Join the conversation with our Facebook Group and learn more about our RSJ Committee here.

CHECK OUT OUR PREVIOUS SPOTLIGHTS

If you or someone you know should have their advocacy work highlighted through our RSJ Spotlight series, please email our equity coordinator, larae@ywcaspokane.org.

By: Rachel Dannen

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