What is one thing about your work that most people don't know?
That working at a non profit can often resemble a corporation. Systemic racism, sexism, and their intersections are truly often quieted beneath the surface of "service work". As the communications coordinator, I spend my time writing newsletters and taking photos-- documenting the stories of people in programs in the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago, IL. These are stories of refugees, people coming out of prison, houseless people seeking food, survivors of domestic violence looking for counseling...they are people screwed over by that systemic racism, sexism, xenophobia, and state violence. They should run the agencies that provide for them. They do not need charity. They need equity and self-determination. Capitalism infiltrates non profits. I help them tell their stories to raise money for their programs. It's not sustainable or fair. We should not rely on wealthy white donors to keep services alive for those they oppress, whether directly or indirectly. When wealthy white foundations fund art exhibits about the "working people", we have a problem. This is not justice. This is not what Studs Terkel stood for.
What makes you most proud of the work you do?
The people who share their stories with me-- they are brave and deserve justice. I want my job to be obsolete. I do not want to have to tell their stories to inspire the empathy that should exist in the wealthy and privileged. I want us to share stories to learn together, to keep tradition alive, and to dream. Thank you to the people in the struggle, working for just that.