Get to Know Us: Kelsey from Activist University
Meet Kelsey! She’s the Advocacy Communications Coordinator here at Care2 and dog-mom to Sophia, the adorable pup in the photo above. She works with me to run Activist University, Care2’s online training program for grassroots advocates. Among other things, Kelsey is in charge of keeping Care2 relevant and up-to-date on important breaking news, managing this here blog, and always making our communications with our members better, smarter and more interesting. We love her for her peppy attitude, sassy wit, conspiratorial-sounding laughter and fantastic podcast recommendations (My Favorite Murder, anyone?). But there’s much more to know about Kelsey! Get to know her a little more below:
What’s your favorite activist chant ever?
“Not the church! Not the State! Women must control our fate!”
Favorite part of being at Care2?
My favorite part of Care2 is the resiliency of our members and staff. After the election, I truly wanted to curl up under the covers and never come out again. But seeing the passion our members kept bringing to petitions, rallies and events along with the “we will keep fighting” attitude around me at Care2, I felt the support to keep going and standing up for what’s right.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about advocacy, good or bad?
That it’s not “other people” who could get access to the media, it’s not “other people” who could plan rallies, it can be me! I think understanding my individual power and the power to inspire those around me has been a big lesson in the importance of being loud. Allies sometimes appear in surprising places and you’ll never know if you never talk about it. I know talking about advocacy all the time can be challenging, and we each need to find a balance so that we can maintain our mental health, but I’m surprised at how often I make a useful connection at a party or random meeting just by mentioning something I’m interested in or working on right now.
How do you keep motivated?
I give myself plenty of “on” time and plenty of “off” time. I think it’s the in-between that causes the most anxiety – like when you’re halfway doing your day job and halfway reading the horrifying news, it’s very stressful and defeating! So when I’m working, organizing, education myself or others, that’s really what I’m doing. I recommend setting aside some time each day to do things like read the news, take online action, have a thoughtful conversation, contact my representative, or attend events. But when I’m not actively doing those things, I try not to let them seep in. I do this by limiting my access to news sites and Facebook when I’m doing other things and making an effort to engage in different kinds of conversations and activities that recharge me so I can come back to advocacy with renewed vigor each time!
Definitely the grimacing face. It’s a face I make a lot when I do something silly or bizarre or I may have just proposed a bad idea. It always makes me laugh so I use it a lot.
When you get stuck on an advocacy problem, what resources to do you use to solve it?
Obviously, I look at Care2 first. There is so much good information here. But beyond that and tapping my coworkers, I like to read about what other advocates have done. Although the issue may be different, the power structures and tools to get something done are usually relatively similar. I also have joined a few Facebook groups of activists where I can bounce ideas off of them if I’m stuck. Care2 even has its own!
This interview is part of a continuing staff spotlight series. To check out the rest of the staff interview posts, click here!