Adler University Alumni: Victoria Stewart
Master of Public Policy: Human Rights Advocacy Program, 2019
Where is she now…
In 2019, Adler University graduate Victoria Stewart delivered a remarkable speech in which she called on her fellow classmates to “create a more diverse and inclusive reality.” Today, she is doing just that.
My Adler education taught me to approach my job with confidence and kindness. After graduation I started at Blackroots Alliance, a non-profit that is grounded in a love for the Black community and a commitment to seeing Black people achieve their fullest human potential. I joined the organization as its Capacity Building Coordinator and then became Public Policy Coordinator. When I started, I was the only fulltime employee besides the Executive Director. Working at a small organization I wore many hats but love the work and impact I’m having on the lives of people in my community.
My Adler professors helped shape the way I look at social issues and how to create change, which I bring to my job every day. My professors had the right balance of academic knowledge and lived experience to be trusted educators. I try to bring the same balance to my job, so that I am a trusted advocate in my role as Public Policy Coordinator working on campaigns, including criminal justice reform, water for all, transit fines and fees and others.
As I said in my 2019 graduation speech, the challenge to create a more just and inclusive society is not exclusive to public policy advocates and leaders. Adler taught me so much about the importance of stakeholder engagement and listening to the community. Standing side-by-side with my Black brothers and sisters on the path to Black liberation, I have learned that wellness is critical to building a more inclusive reality. I work with other advocates to create spaces for self-care and reflection to avoid burnout. Adler taught me to center my work in humanity, which I encourage more people and organizations to do.
Staying true to my values of wellness and reflection, I recently stepped down from Blackroots Alliance to take time to reflect on my work and role over the last few years. I will plan to volunteer, while I discover where the path will take me next.