PAM TERRELL
October 10, 2020
RHONDA & MARIE
October 10, 2020

JESSICA-ROSE WALLACE

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“The work Metropolitan does is a reflection of mobilizing for social justice,”

shares Jessica-Rose Wallace, Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy. “Many of the clients and communities we serve live on the margins and experience social inequities every single day. Metropolitan was created to address these socio-economic disparities; we’ve been doing this work all along.”

Jessica-Rose views her role as aligning social justice advocacy with Metropolitan’s respected history to influence public policy, and create social impact through legislative and grassroots advocacy.

The Government Affairs department provides guidance for an agency of people - who are already integrated in social justice, just by coming to work every day - around how they can advocate for their clients and communities.

 

“Many of the clients and communities we serve live on the margins and experience social inequities every single day. Metropolitan was created to address these socio-economic disparities; we’ve been doing this work all along.”

Jessica-Rose views her role as aligning social justice advocacy with Metropolitan’s respected history to influence public policy, and create social impact through legislative and grassroots advocacy. The Government Affairs department provides guidance for an agency of people - who are already integrated in social justice, just by coming to work every day - around how they can advocate for their clients and communities.

She shares, “Our staff applies principles of social justice to their work by ensuring their clients have equal access to services, opportunities, resources and legal representation. They can speak strongly to the inequities their clients seek to overcome.”

An Advocacy Task Force comprised of staff from across the agency helps capture what they identify as our communities’ needs, creating an ever-evolving agenda that aligns our advocacy efforts around actionably addressing those needs.

“I was always taught that you never act solely for your own interests; every action should be intentional and your legacy should tell a story about your values and who you are,” Jessica-Rose shares, pointing out that each of our Centers tell a unique story of their community’s resilience in the face of disparity.

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“Metropolitan has created a legacy that values mobilizing for social justice, and Government Affairs’ mission to advocate for meaningful change builds on that legacy," she says.

COVID-19 and recent racial unrest have underscored the need for change by highlighting the disproportionate impact of systemic inequity our communities face; and as Jessica-Rose says, “Communities of color—particularly, black brown and indigenous communities— are most vulnerable when it comes to matters of accessing clean air and water, quality education, healthcare and economic opportunity. These are Metropolitan’s communities, and their needs are directly linked to social justice.”

Advocacy is about helping people understand the realities they may not have seen without that reflection, and empowering people to engage around the importance of services like Metropolitan in creating a more equitable future. “When most people see a problem, they want to help solve it,” Jessica-Rose says.


 

“That’s the vision of Government Affairs; to help stakeholders identify the disparities and inequities our communities face, and aid Metropolitan in our work to eradicate them.”