The Rev. Shane Harris (center) stood with county faith, legal and business leaders — and county Supervisor Kristin Gaspar — to promote the "civility pledge" ahead of the election and its aftermath.
The Rev. Shane Harris (center) stood downtown with county faith, legal and business leaders to promote the “civility pledge” ahead of the election and its aftermath in 2020. Image via Twitter

The People’s Alliance for Justice, a San Diego-based civil rights organization, announced Tuesday it has changed its name to the People’s Association of Justice Advocates.

The organization was founded in late 2018 and opened its headquarters in San Diego in 2019. The Rev. Shane Harris, the group’s founder and president, said he filed paperwork with the California Secretary of State, the Internal Revenue Service, and the District of Columbia in early February to change the organization’s name under restated articles of incorporation supported by the board of directors.

“The People’s Association of Justice Advocates gives a more in-depth look and focus to our organization’s work and efforts and a more mature presence,” Harris said. “Our updated mission statement is to empower citizens with lived experience to meaningfully address societal issues impacting them by introducing policy and legislative change to improve those conditions.”

In January, Harris and the organization started the process of organizing a new office in Washington, D.C., to focus on federal legislative change. PAJ maintains its leadership in Southern California through “organized commissions of leaders” who will continue the organization’s work in the region while Harris focuses on the federal agenda, according to Harris.

“We are on a mission to amplify new voices from federal levels down to the local level and to provide a platform and training to those closest to the issues in their community,” he said. “We will look to develop a non-partisan platform for new advocates who have lived experience from the areas of foster care, the criminal justice system, human trafficking, those have lived through environmental inequity and those who were formerly employed in industries and companies that have failed to deliver on diversity.”

The organization’s new website is www.pajmovement.org.

The People’s Association of Justice Advocates and Times of San Diego co-hosted an online debate on Oct. 20, 2020 with the two candidates for San Diego Superior Court Judge in Office 30.

— City News Service contributed to this article

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