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Hi! My name is Ivy, and I’m a community organizer, jazz singer, and political radical. I’ve organized seniors, parents of kids in public school, people with disabilities, clergy, homeless women, secular Jews, college students, public housing tenants, and I’m sure I’m missing something. I’ve worked on issues everywhere from supporting families at risk of child abuse and neglect to building a mutual aid society. All this is just to say- I’ve done the social justice circuit, and plan to dedicating my life to fighting injustice, wherever it is. For me, social justice is about power. If a community is powerless against oppression, then the best way to fight that is to build power. It’s for this reason that I don’t care as much about a specific issue or population- what’s important to me is that people who feel powerless have the tools to fight back. And in supporting these communities, it helps me find my power as well, which is what fuels me to keep on fighting, even when it’s hard.
In all this organizing, I’ve worked for and with organizations at their best and worst. As someone who’s experienced and been infuriated by organizer burnout, I’m really invested in how organizations treat their staff and the impact that has on their work. I want social change organizations to be effective and to think creatively about what tools they can use to generate more victories. And I want these organizations to treat their staff with the same respect they expect the world to treat its membership or “client base”. I’d like to make this my profession some day- just spend all my time working with organizations to solve problems and help them make real, sustainable change by strengthening the way their organization runs.
I want to make it clear that everywhere and everyone I’ve worked with or for has taught me a great deal. I have great things to say about the places that have accepted me, and the utmost respect in particular for those that supervised me, showed me their personal brand of organizing, and helped me grow. I’ll be keeping organizations and names out of this blog, but if you worked with me and see yourself in this, please know that I hold you in the highest respect- which is why I feel comfortable engaging in a dialogue about how we can all be better at what we do.
I grew up in Boca Raton, FL and graduated from Brandeis University. I’ve done a bunch of fellowships about organizing that you can learn more about on my Resources page. I lived in Boston for about 10 years, and moved to Berkeley, CA with my spouse in 2013 so that he could pursue a PhD in Sociology. I refuse to live anywhere that doesn’t start with the letter B.
I accept bribes in cheese form. When I’m not pretending I know all the answers to social justice issues, I perform jazz around town and have gotten really into improvisational singing.
But enough about me. I want to hear from you! I want this to be a dialogue, and I also want this site to be useful to you. Please feel free to contact me below and let me know what you think or any suggestions you have!