What kind of language do you use to talk about civic engagement? Perhaps you, like many working in this corner of changework, use terms like activism, justice, and democratic participation. Have you considered how words like those may resonate with some audiences but not others? Adiel Suarez-Murias, communications and marketing director at Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), will be helping you reflect on this aspect of your work at the Upswell workshop, “Understanding the Language of Democracy,” We caught up with her to learn a little about her and what motivates her work.
Q: If you could instantly become an expert on something, what would it be?
ASM: I really wish I could speed read, so I could just instantly absorb all of the books I want to read.
Q: What would you change if you could get a “do over” in your life?
ASM: Honestly, I don’t think I would change anything. It’s easy to say there are things I would do differently if I could do them over, but everything I’ve been through has brought me to where I am now, and I don’t regret any of that.
Q What’s a skill you have that you wish you could use more often?
ASM: Spanish was my first language. I wish I had more opportunities to speak it.
Q: When was the last time you were stuck in a rut, and what did you do to get out of it?
ASM: Everyone gets into a rut sometimes. When I do, I try to remind myself why I do the work I do. I think of all of the privilege and access I have, and all of the blessings in my life – and then I think about all of the people in the world who don’t have those things. And I remember that my purpose is to be of service, to do everything in my power to build a more just and inclusive world, one where everyone can thrive and be their whole self. Often, getting out of a rut is about getting back in alignment with your vision and values – and that’s mine.
Q: Is humanity headed in the wrong or right direction?
ASM: That’s a hard question. I think there are powerful forces that are moving us in the wrong direction. Greed, power, disconnection. But there are also forces that are pushing us in the right direction. I believe they’re growing stronger, but it’s up to us in this work to nurture those forces – love, justice, liberation – that are moving us toward connection with ourselves, each other, and the planet.
Understanding the Language of Democracy is happening Wednesday, November 13 from 3 – 4pm.
Adiel is also a member of the 2019 Independent Sector’s 2019 American Express NGen Fellows cohort, and will be co-presenting a workshop with the 2019 cohort, happening Thursday, November 14 from 10:45 – 11:30am.