Project Pilgrimage Programs

We build interracial and intergenerational community

Project Pilgrimage offers four community programs, each centered on developing, cementing, and then launching and supporting citizens as they grow into impactful leaders. Each program takes aim at preparing us to thrive in inter-racial and inter-generational environments.


The concept for a civil rights pilgrimage was conceived in the summer of 2013 and we have learned a great deal along the way. In past months and years we have spent time listening, learning and growing together as the contexts of racial justice have continued to change. We have seen the Black Lives Matter movement emerge through the hard-won lessons and the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. Our deeply divided political environment demands all of our attention and participation in continuing the work started by civil rights leaders. We as a nation are in need of dialogue and understanding and we are fully committed to doing all we can to effect change.

Due to the enormous demand and interest in the civil rights pilgrimages, participation is a selective and intentional process. We are looking to include a broad range of folks with these characteristics in mind:

  • A fundamental desire to study the arc of the Black American freedom struggle
  • A clear, determined commitment to racial and social justice
  • A belief in the value and essentiality of cross-racial relationship-building
  • A collective full investment in all aspects of the experience
  • Diversity across racial, age, gender, and economic standings

For dates and more information about our civil rights pilgrimage, please see the Pilgrimage page.


In March of 2018, Project Pilgrimage launched a civic-participation program, Common Purpose. This program provides an on-ramp to citizen education, voting, and elections, with people making commitments to engage in voter registration and electoral campaigns.


We have two goals. First, to catalyze a public who takes action in support of our democracy. Second, to build a community of people who learn from, laugh and grow with, and care about one another. Through community gatherings, collective learning, and concentrated political action together we create and share a common purpose. Our program will move through four steps.

▪ Step One – Civics Foundation: We identify and discuss foundational nuts and bolts of the American democratic process, in particular political parties, issue agendas, campaigns, and voting rights. We seek to educate and catalyze.

▪ Step Two – Focused Engagement: We focus on voter registration and key campaigns in Washington state and across the nation in “swing states” and “swing districts” — locations where citizen engagement can have great impact in tipping national policies in one direction or another.

▪ Step Three – Political Boot Camp: We provide a boot-camp introduction to basic types of volunteer work for U.S. voter registration and campaigns, and people team up to undertake trial runs as first steps.

▪ Step Four – Action: People do on-the-ground work focused on regions/elections of their choice both in Washington state — including the 8th and 5th CDs here in WA — and across America for voter registration and electoral campaigns, directed by organizations that are in place.

Open to all:

This program is non-partisan, free, and open to all. We will provide education, preparation, community, and support as people engage in voter registration and electoral campaigns. People can participate from their homes or by traveling to regions and states.

2018 + 2019 + 2020

The program runs in two waves each of the next three years: twice in 2018, twice in 2019, and twice in 2020. Each year participants will commit to providing at least one week of hands-on action in (a) a late-spring early period focused on voter registration and/or (b) in an autumn period focused on distribution of election material, door-knocking and phone calls, or get-out-the-vote support. Participants will choose their dates.


Common Purpose leadership will provide guidance and will ask all participants to contribute in important ways to what we build. Many things will be figured out as we go. This is how we build a common purpose. People can participate in either Wave 1 or Wave 2 or both, whatever works.

▪ 2018 Wave 1: Launch and Introduction on Saturday, March 3, 2018  9 am to 2 pm – Washington Hall. We will then meet in that same time slot and location on four Saturdays every other week: March 17, March 31, April 14, April 28. Participants will work in teams on regions/states of their choice in May or June.

▪ 2018 Wave 2: Launch and introduction on Saturday, August 4 with an introduction 9 am to 2 pm at Washington Hall. We will then meet in that same time slot and location on four Saturdays every other week: Aug 18, Sept 1, Sept 15, and Sept 29. Participants will work in teams on regions/states of their choice in October.

Sign up here


Our democracy is at great risk. We are confronting dangerous levels of economic insecurity and inequality; corrosive political polarization; deep and unaddressed racial and ethnic divides; and political leaders who are either unable or unwilling to help us find the better angels of our nature. But these times are not unprecedented, nor are these challenges insurmountable.

If we wish to make progress and move towards a more just and perfect union, we must do so together. We must build community and spend time listening to one another with compassion and intention. We must seek inspiration from the stories of those who refused to bend to overwhelming odds, and instead chose to join the long march of those who came before us.

Please consider joining a four-month journey of mutual learning and community building. We will spend one month each with a different book for four months, engaging in community discussions, facilitated exercises, and more, as we stand up and stand together to help create the world we want to live in, and build the future we want to leave to the next generation.

For more information, please visit the Inspiring Chapters page.