Continuing the Meet the Fellows weekly blog post series is Addie Lipson, our current Work First Fellow in Milwaukee, WI. Read her story and then get all caught up by reading Liz’s profile from last week.
Name: Addie Lipson
Hometown: Southington, Connecticut
Her Fellowship Story So Far:
Addie Lipson was already an experienced community activist and organizer in Milwaukee, WI when she decided to become a Work First Fellow. She did so because she wanted to continue to create positive change for her city while working one-on-one with individuals who have been harmed the most by the city’s structural segregation and economic policies. Not only does she get to make a direct impact in the city that means so much to her, but the America Works site she works at is right down the street from her favorite Milwaukee landmark, the Hoan Bridge.
The Execution Factor: The One Skill That Drives Success
House of Cards
At America Works Wisconsin, Addie has been busy working directly with clients and starting a deep dive into her research project. In addition, every month she attends regular meetings with every WIOA [Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act] Career Planner in the city, which she always finds exciting. As she settles into her new role at the office, she is constantly learning new things about her clients, the policies of public assistance programs, and how to take care of herself at the same time. Not only does she emphasize the importance of discovering one’s personal self-accountability systems and making them known to coworkers so you can work better and meet deadlines, but also that leaving work at work is a necessary tool for survival. Once she does step away from her work, she focuses on self-care by cooking, having a quiet night in with her partner, or by taking her camera out for a shoot.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE SHE EVER RECEIVED
Your mind is like an apartment building.
Everything in your life lives in its own little unit.
If something doesn’t pay rent, evict it.
Helping the community may be one of Addie’s passions, but it is certainly not the only one. From wanting to write a book on how military bases abroad affect the local culinary culture; to learning more about mid-1800’s Milwaukee history; explaining Vijay Prashad’s theory of socialist writing; to introducing people to her most influential historical role model Ulrike Meinhoff; and imagining what she could do with unlimited funding for one project—turn all unused rooftops in densely populated into self-sustaining gardens, in case you were wondering—Addie’s interests are as broad as they are insightful. She recently completed her Master’s in Social Justice and Community Organizing, which culminated in her capstone presentation on how to use relational leadership models to create inclusive spaces of faith.
ADDIE’S FAVORITE QUOTE
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
- Audre Lorde
Addie is driven to break down inequitable systems wherever she goes. In the future, she hopes to do just that as a project manager for a non-profit or government welfare agency, and to someday make headlines for proposing and enacting legislation providing wide protections for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. Until then, she is focused on her year of service at America Works Milwaukee, taking every opportunity to become a better advocate for everyone in her community, no matter who they are or where they come from.