Hillary Blecker wants to create more dialogue between people and communities in the Delaware Valley. “Whether we’re talking about police brutality or schools closing down, the fact that we rarely talk to people with other opinions means we don’t challenge our own thinking,” she says.
Hillary’s full-time work is at PhilaPOSH, where she creates opportunities for meaningful exchange through trainings for labor and immigrant rights groups. She’s also the co-founder of the Philadelphia Trainers’ Collaborative (PTC).
PTC brings together educators, organizers, and trainers to strengthen facilitation skills and share organizing tips. In three years, Hillary and co-founders Jess Levy and Susan Kim have built a network of 400 stakeholders and turned PTC into a member-run cooperative. PTC programs are co-sponsored by Bread & Roses, which is how Hillary began to learn more about the organization.
“I really wanted to give a pot of money somewhere, and I didn’t exactly know where to give it,” Hillary says. “I realized I could trust Bread & Roses to support the grassroots organizing that I care about.”
Hillary is a member of Resource Generation, an organization that provides opportunities for young people with wealth to leverage their privilege for social change movements. “There are lots of people on the left who have money, but many have difficulty being honest about it,” she says. “Resource Generation helped me understand that I have a story to tell about class too.”
Through the Resource Generation network, Hillary is helping to create a cross-class giving circle to support housing justice work. “The foreclosure crisis shed light on the effects of predatory investment in housing and land development. We want to provide opportunities for donors to take part in collective learning and funding for the fight for housing. And we are looking for donors to join us!” she says.
Hillary grew up in Margate, N.J., and now lives in West Philly. Her interest in social justice started early. “I was always someone that asked why a lot. I wanted to understand the root causes of why there were haves and have-nots,” she says.
Hillary’s commitment to creating dialogue, training trainers, and contributing annually to Bread & Roses Community Fund is helping to build a movement for real change in our region. Thank you, Hillary!