Impact of Books – JONAH Volunteer Highlight

Meet Rebecca Wurzer – a JONAH Volunteer doing great things!

Name: Rebecca Wurzer

JONAH Roles: Book Group Leader, Fundraising Team, Past-Secretary, Past Board Member

What is your favorite thing about JONAH? I support the way that JONAH handles issues. I believe they do really important work for the community. They are proactive and respond to issues in the community. Also, I love that people can come to JONAH with an idea, and not only can they can act on it, but JONAH guides them!

What are you looking forward to? Traveling! I’m going this year to Nova Scotia, Spain/Portugal, have some fun day trips planned, and will do some camping.

Suggested book read: Changes all the time… right now my favorite book is “I Take My Coffee Black” by Tyler Merritt.

Hobbies/activities: – I enjoy hiking, kayaking, camping, reading, and spending time with friends.

Local business you like to support we should know about? I absolutely love the UWEC Children’s Nature Academy. This was found during my time as director of the UWEC daycare, and now the director is a friend of mine. Children being outside and learning skills they do outside is a big passion of mine.

Celebrating her work: Becky Wurzer went with Sue Wagner and Sharon Stedman, all JONAH board members from First Presbyterian, on the 2019 UW Civil Rights Pilgrimage and heard Anthony Ray Hinton speak. His words inspired them deeply. Becky got his book, “The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row” and organized some people together to discuss it. Ever since then, Becky has been leading the JONAH book club where they have been reading and discussing social justice books every month.

Some of the books they’ve read: “How to Be an Antiracist”, “Color of Law”, “How to Give Up Plastic”, and “A Knock at Midnight”.

Some highlights from the group:

  •  Nanette Massey, a speaker from New York, attended the book group discussion of “White Fragility”. She said, “Too many white people are talking about race with only other white people.” That was JONAH, Becky thought. Nanette went on to be our keynote at last year’s annual event.
  • A couple of months ago they read a book called “Biased”. Jodi Thesing-Ritter, the same UW professor who led the Civil Rights Pilgrimage, got a grant to distribute free copies of the books for attendees. She also helped facilitate the discussion. Then several members of the group met up to see the Smithsonian Exhibit “Bias Inside Us” at the Pablo Center.
  • Their most exciting moment was with the last book “I Take My Coffee Black” by Tyler Merritt. Becky talked with the author, sent him the zoom link and he showed up for the whole hour!

Thanks to Becky’s efforts, joy of reading, and passion for issues of equality and justice people have been connecting with social justice issues in a refreshed and exciting way, more people have connected with JONAH, and more voices have been heard. One person can make a huge difference! Thanks, Becky for all you do!

The Book Group meets every other month on the third Wednesday of the month at 6pm, via Zoom. Anywhere from 5-23 people attend. They’re still deciding their next book! Contact Becky to connect with the group or to let her know she’s doing great work!!!!

Do you have a JONAH Volunteer you want to nominate for a highlight of their individual efforts? Contact Perla! At [email protected].