Inside Change with Juliana Britto Schwartz
What is the driving force in what led you to Change.org?
I joined Change in an entry-level campaigner role. I was a year out of college and had been writing about social justice on the internet for a while, but knew that I wanted to start influencing change in ways that felt more direct. Digital campaigning was so interesting to me, but I didn’t have any experience in it!
So I started as an Associate Campaigner and really grew into my campaigning skills here. I’ve been at Change for five years now!
Which of our core values do you most connect with?
I’m really motivated by the love and empathy we cultivate at Change. I have strong relationships with my coworkers, but I also have strong relationships with our starters! I’ve been working with some people for years. I think my favorite part of my job is that I can offer professional support (which agencies would charge a lot for) for free to the people who need it most.
How has the online activism space evolved since Change was founded?
It’s fuller, in the best of ways! There are more and more organizations using digital tools to effect change, and we get to work with a lot of them on our platform.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a petition starter for their first campaign?
Your story is the most powerful tool you have. So much of campaigning is convincing people that a petition is worth their time, and most people are drawn in by feeling that they can relate to the issue that’s being examined. Your personal story will draw people in!
How do you think your identity has impacted your professional experiences?
I am a light-skinned, mixed-race Latina, so I move through the world with a lot of white privilege. I think about my place at Change through more of a gender lens – and honestly, Change is pretty special. I’ve never met so many people from such diverse backgrounds and experiences who are such educated and thoughtful allies. I just had a baby, and I cannot stop bragging about how wonderful it is to be a parent at Change, where I feel 110% supported to be a mom and to also kick butt in my career. Change like any company has lots of room for improvement when it comes to making marginalized people feel welcome and supported to do their best work, but I’m really proud to work at a company that cares about this as much as Change does.
Who inspires you, this Women’s History Month?
So much of my thinking right now is tied up in being a mom. I didn’t expect parenthood to engage my intellectual and organizational skills in the same way it requires emotional literacy. But it’s all those things and more! So lately I’m admiring mothers who raise their children with respect, care, and awareness, and parents who show up as their full selves at home and in the workplace.
What is your guilty pleasure TV show?
Grey’s Anatomy! I cannot believe that I am still watching it, but this soap opera is honestly the most diverse and progressive show on television.