Maddy Clark is responsible for uplifting the work of JEI via administrative, programmatic, and communications support. Before joining the JEI team, she worked on social impact communications at Metropolitan Group, where she witnessed the value of advocacy guided by a vision of social justice. As a young professional, Maddy is eager to continue learning from her colleagues and strengthen her commitment to values-aligned work.
Maddy grew up in a time when conversations about the gross inequities in our systems were commonplace and overt. Correcting, ameliorating, and reimagining this pervasive sense of injustice motivated her career search, and she found homecoming in the transformative mission of JEI. She hopes to address these ills through empathy, imagination, curiosity, and community.
Maddy was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and moved to Portland, Oregon, after a year of teaching English in Bilbao, Spain. She is eager to lay down roots on the West Coast, spend abundant time in nature, and take full advantage of Portland’s bustling food scene. In 2020, she graduated from Bates College (from her living room) with degrees in English and Sociology. In college, she participated in A Cappella, local criminal justice reform efforts, and taught ESL courses to recent immigrants from Central Africa. She lives in North Portland with her boyfriend 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 that has defined the last three years, 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 essential to progress, to feeling seen and validated, and to hope.
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 broke my decades-long vegetarianism on a McDonald’s chicken nugget.
What movements for a just economy, past or present, inspire you?
Although it’s not a formal movement or organization, I was extremely 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 generating distributable 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.