The Jamie Redmond
Tell us about how you got involved in SISE?
I was getting ready to go to graduate school after two years of working after college and felt like I needed a refresh and jump-start for my new academic endeavor. I feel in love with the program and the people and knew it was something special that I should stay involved with, and I'm so glad I did.
What have you been up to since you graduated SISE in 2012?
I completed a double masters in Landscape Architecture and Environment & Resources at UW-Madison, focused on policy and participatory community planning. I freelanced for a bit at Clean Energy Trust, then went on to work as a Project Manager at a small digital agency focused on clients from the non-profit and social justice world. Now I'm working double-time as an Adjunct Lecturer at UIC, teaching Practices for Sustainable Cities, and as the Director of Marketing & Strategy at RCC, focused on strategic partnerships and community engagement. I'm also building up a passion project (called Rally) to help activists track and take action on specific legislation.
Tell us more about your advocacy work.
I have always cared deeply about sustainability, environmental policy, and women's rights and gender equality in my personal life, and my academic career really gave me the tools to understand deep, structural issues and articulate why policies are good or bad for communities. This past year, I transitioned from volunteering and donating to organizations to taking on the responsibility of organizing people and actions for causes. Whether it's calling a member of congress, sending out policy notices, clarifying and educating people on specific policies, or getting out the vote - I want people to see that they can have a voice, build power, and make a difference.
What are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish?
My goal is for people to feel scientifically and politically literate and informed, and to encourage them to take meaningful action. Rather than simply following a political party or caucus, dive into the issues that matter to you and urge your representatives to take a stance. I also want to see more women run for office, and facilitate the empowerment of women in politics and policy. We're terribly underrepresented, and it shows in how congress prioritizes legislation that would support working women and families.
Do you see yourself still doing advocacy work in the next 1, 5, 10 years?
Absolutely. This shouldn't just be a trendy thing to do post-election, it's the right thing to do. I wish I'd known more and been more involved when I was younger, and I think I'm working furiously now to make up for not doing more then. I see the tide turning, especially with young people like my students, toward a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable society. I want to be part of that movement.
Have you ever thought about including cats in your advocacy work? If not, are you opposed to it?
LOL. I've not thought of it, but am certainly not opposed.