Cory Walster is the Community Organizer for the Civil Survival Project. He started with Civil Survival as a volunteer 3 years ago, was one of the original founding board members, and has led the Kitsap County Gamechanger group since 2018. He is a father of two children, a son, and daughter, he's a registered tribal member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Cory’s passion for this work stems from his own lived experiences with the systems of oppression, and his own incarceration in four of the Washington State prisons. After release from prison, Cory found himself as a single parent to his daughter and struggling to overcome the many legal restrictions and barriers for people upon reentry. He did not realize the power of sharing his story until finding others in Civil Survival to connect with, and learned how to get before decision-makers and elected officials.
In addition, Cory is passionate about school push-out and it fueled him to organize with others after his own daughter was being suspended due to her mental health issues. His contributions to the work of Civil Survival are bountiful, but he is most proud of his position on the Central Kitsap School District Student Rights and Responsibilities Committee where he was an integral part of redrafting the discipline code to keep children in a learning environment. He is generous with his time and talents, and is highly active with other groups and committees in the community such as Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). He values advancing racial equity in all of his work, and building relationships with others who have been impacted by any systems of oppression. Cory is also a skilled gardener in his free time, and enjoys sharing his harvest with other activists and organizers.