Maria joined DG+CO to help advance progressive policy and social justice issues through multi-faceted media and field campaigns. By working on a range of client projects from materials development to social media trainings and management, Maria helps clients drive change and realize their goals on a daily basis.
1. What brought you to DG+CO?
My career so far is a culmination of slightly different roles that all have one thing in common — telling stories that move people to change their behavior in support of a social justice issue. I’m at DG+CO today because I’m able to contribute what I love to do (all things communications) for issues and organizations that I admire and believe in. It’s usually not enough for an organization to have a mind-blowing mission; advocates and their organizations need effective strategies to amplify their presence and reach the right people at the right times. At DG+CO, I get to be part of the team that helps ensure an organization or campaign’s message is resonating with the right audiences to affect change.
2. What past experiences do you find yourself drawing on most in your work here?
One of the most important considerations for any communications strategist is how and why a certain issue is currently represented and discussed – what’s going on behind the curtain? To get at those answers, I frequently draw on my time as a debater and debate coach to critically analyze the media landscape. Although I’ve spent a lot of time training people to look and sound good while delivering a speech, the best messages challenge our assumptions, point out something we’ve been conditioned to ignore and/or take for granted, and empower audiences to use their imagination to see solutions beyond the status quo.
3. What gets you out of bed and excited to go to work at DG+CO each day?
Being able to help drive social change through effective strategic communications campaigns and getting to work with leaders in the social change sector!
4. When you’re not in the office, what do you do for fun?
I like to think that in a parallel universe I’m some sort of awesome film director so I love to nerd out on all the opportunities to check out independent movies out here, especially the annual documentary film fest. In addition to movies, I was originally drawn to NYC for the variety of amazing activist work that gets started here so I try to support social justice efforts by showing up at rallies, events, and meeting new people; I particularly enjoy connecting with people doing creative work on economic and workers’ rights issues and on behalf of animals and animal rights and I’m deeply inspired by the incredible activists working to advance the Movement for Black Lives.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given (professional or otherwise), and by whom?
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t” is a gem from Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy) that stays with me; it’s such an important reminder to acknowledge the awesome-ness of just being a human on this planet and being able to connect with so many different people throughout your lifetime.