National Vigil Coordinator
My name is Karen Heikkala of Austin, Texas and I'm very pleased to announce that I will be the new National Vigil Coordinator starting in the beginning of July. I look forward to working with all of you as we continue this project and increase its presence and influence through this year.
The process of vigilance is dear to my heart as it empowers all of us who come together to stand in witness to America's unjust policies. Not only does it strengthen us, but I know it gives hope to those inside the walls, knowing they are not forgotten, as our policymakers would like them to be. The people that happen to cross our paths in the midst of the vigils can't help but be affected when they see our committment, let alone the information we have to share with them.
I have been a member of Drug Policy Forum of Texas and have been the coordinator of the Austin Chapter for four months. My professional background has been in nursing. I have been a Licensed Vocational Nurse for 13 years, working in several settings with a focus primarily in psychiatric nursing.
In my private life I've focused on peace and justice issues. I have been a member of the Austin Peace and Justice Coalition for 15 years, which is an umbrella group to 30 progressive Austin organizations. During my affiliation with the group I have worked with the publication of the newsletter as an editor and writer and am currently serving on the committee which oversees the e-mail calendar of events. Throughout the years I have worked as a fund-raiser, board member, and public educator with various groups within the coalition.
I'm very happy to bring my life experience and skills to this new job and I know that with our collective skills, strength, and perseverance we will turn this Drug War around. We'll be in touch.
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