Hey there! My name is Bria Wade and I’m currently a freshman at Georgetown University from New Jersey majoring in African American Studies and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. I’m the new intern with DC Jobs With Justice and I’m extremely excited to be working with the amazing team and organization this semester!
I had no idea what to expect when I arrived for my first day working with DC JWJ because I truly didn’t have a firm grasp on what organizing was. Since then, I have learned so much from the people I work with and going out and doing the work in places like Columbia Heights and Union Station. Although it can be disheartening at times because of the nature of outreach, I have been able to see the magnitude of impact that organizing has on the lives of retail workers in DC. The work that I have done so far has inspired me to become more involved with worker justice.
I started working when I was twelve years old in order to assert my independence and make money for myself so that my parents would have to contribute less to getting me the things that I needed. I have maintained a steady job ever since and throughout my time working in the food industry (McDonald’s), I noticed several things about the way things were run that didn’t sit well with me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until this past summer that I became aware of organizations that work specifically to address injustices faced by workers all over the country. My firsthand experience in conjunction with my passion for activism have fostered my desire to know more about worker justice so that I can be better equipped with the knowledge and tools to advocate for others who didn’t have the opportunity to leave their jobs like I did.
As much as I love the work I do as an activist on campus, there is still so much to be done when it comes to being successful in social justice work. My biggest critique has to do with differences in understanding what people truly need and the best way to go about addressing specific concerns rather than providing a blanket solution to “fix” a multi-layered problem. I’ve found that many people don’t differentiate between the two which becomes limiting to progress as a whole. I’m a strong believer in the power in acknowledging differences between what everyone needs and then advocating for others in a way that addresses the nuances in everyone’s experiences. I strongly believe that the work being done by DC JwJ directly acknowledges the different lives people live and the best way to work toward sustainable solutions.
I’m greatly enjoying my time doing outreach and learning so many new things about worker justice in DC. I hope to become an even better organizer but I also hope that I can play a role in helping people live better lives with our help!