Western States Center strives to create a world where everyone can live, love, worship and work free from bigotry and fear.


About Western States Center

Based in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States, Western States Center works nationwide to build a future where all people can live, love, worship, and work free from bigotry and fear.

Since 1987 our programs have lifted up the voices of marginalized communities while providing accessible tools and support for grassroots organizing, civic engagement, and collective action. Our work has resulted in concrete policy and institutional changes across the West and beyond.


A 21st Century Civil Rights Movement

These times call for nothing less than a 21st century civil rights movement. When white nationalists provoke violence on our streets, we respond by building movements, developing leaders, shifting culture, and standing up for inclusive democracy. The Pacific Northwest and Mountain States are often considered a testing ground for far-right extremism, and our efforts to diminish anti-democracy activity at the local, state and regional levels have become a model throughout the nation. Democracy is hard work and we're proactively defending it on all fronts.


Our Impact


Rep. Mike Nearman Expelled from Oregon Legislature

WSC, along with a broad coalition of Oregon groups, led the call for Nearman to be held accountable and removed from office.

Common Good Masterclass for Artists + Cultural Workers

20 multimedia artists from around the country countering racism, antisemitism and antidemocratic movements through their art

Oregon Inclusive Democracy Network

Uniting communications and program staff from 12+ organizations throughout the state to counter antidemocratic activity 

 Eric K. Ward, Leading By Example


“There’s something that gets lost when courageous leadership is acknowledged. Good leadership takes a village. It requires an organization.”

- Eric Ward, Sr. Advisor for Western States Center

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 Personal story:
How we defend democracy

“I believe in an inclusive democracy, the opposite of the white nationalist agenda. And I believe in the power of music to unite people across space, time, and all imagined or real divides.” 

Ana Egge,

Inclusive Democracy Culture Lab Cohort Participant


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