Elizabeth-Grace Espina Goel is a junior at The Winsor School in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the founder of The Justly Project, an organization dedicated to using oral history to share the stories of, and raise support for, Filipino and Filipino-American nurses. The Justly Project began as an oral history project that focused on the experiences of Elizabeth-Grace’s grandmother, who survived World War II in the jungles of the Philippines, later trained as a nurse, and then immigrated to North America. As Elizabeth-Grace was producing a documentary about her grandmother’s story, Covid-19 happened, and she quickly came to appreciate the important role that Filipino-American nurses played in combating the pandemic.
In 2020, The Justly Project partnered with the PNAA and raised over $21,000 for the Heal Our Nurses campaign. Inspired by this success, The Justly Project and the PNAA initiated a joint oral history project with the PNAA called SPARKJustly, incorporating the “SPARK” initiative of the PNAA: “Stories of People, Achievement, Resilience, and Kindness.” For SPARKJustly, Elizabeth-Grace Goel, PNAA President Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, and nurse-historian and PhD student Reynaldo Capucao interviewed dozens of Filipino-American nurses to document their lives, careers, and pandemic experiences. Season 1 of SPARKJustly concluded in June 2021, and Season 2 launched in September and is ongoing. Throughout 2021, The Justly Project has also continued to fundraise for numerous initiatives, including a “giving back” campaign to recognize Filipino nurses serving on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as efforts to support education for Filipino-American nursing leadership. Fundraising for these initiatives topped $40,000.