Maddy Clark is responsible for uplifting JEI’s work via administrative, programmatic and communications support. Before joining JEI, she worked on social impact communications at Metropolitan Group, where she witnessed the power of voice and the value of advocacy guided by a clear vision of social justice. As a young professional, Maddy is eager to learn from her colleagues and JEI Fellows and strengthen her commitment to values-aligned work.
Maddy is committed to building community and sees relationships as a vital tool in bringing about positive social change. She believes strongly in the power of storytelling to influence and impact hearts and minds.
Maddy was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and moved to Portland, Oregon after a year of teaching English in Bilbao, Spain. In Portland, she teaches a poetry course at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, volunteers at the local animal shelter, enjoys hiking, skiing, and scuba diving around the Pacific Northwest and is taking full advantage of Portland’s bustling food scene. In 2020, she graduated from Bates College with degrees in English and Sociology. She lives with her partner, Max, and two kittens, Pintxo and Otis.
Reflecting on JEI’s core values — Community, Interconnectedness, Transformation — which value speaks to you most, at this moment in time? Why?
At this moment in time, the value of community speaks most to me. As we slowly emerge from the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have come to understand, more than ever, the intrinsic human need for connection and community. I was inspired by all that we were able to accomplish, as individuals and as a society, despite home-office setups and Zoom screens, and I witnessed how our mutual interdependence makes us strong. Community is the heartbeat of change!
What are a few things about you that would surprise other people?
- I’m a certified scuba diver.
- I’m an award-winning songwriter.
- I love weird plants – the lumpier and more misshapen, the better.
What movements for a just economy, past or present, inspire you?
Although it’s not a formal movement or organization, I was inspired by the rise of mutual aid programs in my local communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I saw new coalitions, alliances, student clubs and organizations forming with the sole purpose of distributing wealth to community members in need. Embedded in the fabric of each initiative was an honest recognition of power and privilege, an understanding of the necessity of community and collective resilience.