You know I love stories, telling and listening. Especially stories of people on a rough health road who take the fork to advocacy and community organizing. Advocacy and community organizing isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s a tough business. Passion and lived experience are necessary, but not sufficient. Advocacy is a struggle. We need lessons learned from advocacy experts.
I met Mary Sue Schottenfels, my advocacy and organizing hero, 47 years ago when I stopped at a table at Wayne State University where she was selling bagels and organizing against the War in Vietnam. All these years later, Mary Sue still advocates and organizes – now as Executive Director of Clear Corps – for safe homes for children in Detroit. I asked Mary Sue to talk with us about how she became a community organizer and give us some pointers about building collaborations, managing the business of advocacy, and staying connected to your community. Please welcome Mary Sue, my first Health Hats interview. (I met my wife through Mary Sue, but that’s another long convoluted story). Thanks for everything you do.