“It’s about the process…something running teaches you is that your goals don’t necessarily get easier. But you do get stronger and better at working towards them over time.”
Beth Wright (Pueblo of Laguna) is an attorney at the Northwest Justice Project, 3-time Boston Marathon finisher, and former NCAA Division I runner at Syracuse University. She also happens to be one of my lifelong best friends! Beth and I are former high school cross-country/track & field teammates, and I am lucky to have been able to cheer her on to 3 Individual State 5AAAAA Track & Field championships during those years. We’ve been through so many things together, from suffering through senior year AP Calculus to surviving the infamous Hell’s Hills in XC, to incredibly important conversations around our shared Indigenous identities. After Beth ran Cross Country and Track at Syracuse University, she went on to earn her J.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2020. In this conversation, we reflect on our experiences as Native students in both high school and college, her time with Wings of America and Beth’s cultural connections to running, plus how my dad played a major role in her running career.
These days, Beth works primarily with Northwest Tribes and Indigenous communities through her position at the Northwest Justice Project, Washington’s largest publicly funded legal aid program. Her office provides civil legal assistance and representation to low-income people in cases affecting things like family safety and security, housing preservation, protection of income, access to health care, education and more.
If you would like to support Beth’s work at the Northwest Justice Project, please visit:
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Music by Jacob Shije (Santa Clara Pueblo, NM).
This podcast was made possible through the Tracksmith Fellowship Program.