As Engagement and Development Coordinator at NP, Jill Winsor will be helping to connect community members to the policy decisions that shape their lives. After spending several years working on the front lines of social service provision, Jill is excited to make the move into policy advocacy because she believes that when communities are able to actively participate in policy change, great things can happen. Her time spent working with people people experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, and recent immigrants, has served to reinforce her belief that access to affordable housing and economic opportunity is essential for the health and well-being of our communities. Jill holds a Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work from Portland State University.
What will you be doing at NP?
I will be helping NP to build and strengthen their connections to the communities impacted by the housing and economic inclusion policies for which they advocate. I will coordinate and organize logistics for NP’s trainings, conferences, advocacy efforts and events. I will also help with development and building a donor base.
What area of expertise and interest do you have?
As a public health nerd, I’m fascinated by the knowledge that our zip code can decide our health. We know that our health outcomes are often determined at the block group level and are shaped by the capacity parents have to actively engage with their children, the resources available in our neighborhoods, and the responsiveness of the public and social service sectors. The health and well-being of individuals is dependent upon their ability to access resources, connect into systems of social support, and to develop the belief that they have the personal power to affect change in their own lives. I’m interested in community driven policy change not only because I believe it’s the most equitable (and smartest) way to write policy but also because the act of participation and engagement helps individuals and communities thrive.
What does opportunity mean to you?
The activation of inherent potential. Meaning, the chance for someone/a group of people to take hold of their own internal resources and grow them.
What difference can quality, affordable housing and asset building make for individuals and communities?
All the difference. Having economic resources and a safe place to call home makes it possible for people to more effectively attend to the other things in their lives including their relationships, their aspirations, the things that inspire them.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I have a lot of favorite quotes but when I’m feeling hopeful, I like this one from Arundhati Roy, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
Choose one author, living or dead, that you’d like to have dinner with.
This question is way too hard for me but I will go with Octavia Butler.