Having started this past November, Julia is one of our newest volunteers. But in the few short months that she has been here, she has become a valued part of our agency. She has massively strengthened our agency’s social media platforms, and she didn’t hesitate one heartbeat to take on the revamping of our W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Blog. Besides working on the techy stuff, she regularly contributes blog posts about our agency’s services, domestic violence information, and more. In addition to social media, Julia stepped in to help a fellow W.O.M.A.N., Inc. volunteer, Gina Li, plan a Karaoke Night Fundraiser, and now Julia and Gina will be heading up an events committee, made up of volunteers interested in throwing fundraisers for our agency. Yeah, she is just that awesome and we feel fortunate to say that she is a W.O.M.A.N., Inc. volunteer. Learn more about her involvement with our agency below:
What inspired you to do anti-violence work?
I wanted to do something meaningful for the community, something that matched my own ideals. Over the past several years I have been reading a lot of feminist writings, which put a lot of my knowledge about the world in a new perspective. Most important, they gave me a systemic view of a lot of violence that I would otherwise perceive as just random. Volunteering for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is my first experience working for a feminist organization, and it’s thrilling to be a part of its anti-violence efforts.
What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?
I am a non-direct service volunteer (meaning that I don’t work directly with domestic violence survivors). I help W.O.M.A.N., Inc. with social media and fundraising. I post on the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. blog, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as assist the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. staff with grant writing, Salesforce work, preparing newsletters, and organizing events.
How has your involvement impacted your life?
First, I’ve gained a lot of new skills and experience! Each assignment is an interesting challenge. Second, volunteering here gave me the opportunity to hone the skills that I already have, such as writing and editing. And last but not least, the knowledge that I’m participating in something meaningful and important makes me happy.
What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers and community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I would say, don’t be afraid to reach out to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. if you want to volunteer because they have work for all skill sets! Also, it’s very useful to tap into your network of friends and acquaintances when you’re doing your volunteer assignments. For example, my good friend Dale Wilson from Los Angeles gave me great SEO tips for this very blog. Recently W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has formed an events committee, which could definitely benefit from all kinds of skills, knowledge, and connections. In short, don’t be shy to work with W.O.M.A.N., Inc., even if you don’t have nonprofit experience.
What do you enjoy the most about volunteering at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
The learning aspect of it. I am very inspired by W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s approach to social justice. Its foundation is respect for the dignity of violence survivors. The very use of the word “survivor,” as opposed to “victim,” breaks apart the habitual model of thinking about domestic violence, as it stresses the need of recognizing our inherent strength. Also, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s philosophy opposes gender essentialism and exclusion on the basis of sexuality, race, or national origin.
Can you share one fun fact about yourself?
I am an art nerd. Some people who influenced my thinking the most were actually art critics. In fact, I write art criticism myself.
~ Julia interviewed by Lily Krutel and Mariya Taher