Joy Spencer | “Connector of the Inspired Dots”
Simply put, I am an inspired connector, a master convener and a top-notch collaborator. Building coalitions, fostering partnerships and sparking self-sustaining movements is what I do and have always done well. I’ve learned in over 13 years of professional and volunteer work in a series of movements that knowing how and when to build strong cross-sectoral coalitions is critical for fostering and sustaining any kind of meaningful social change. However, when done badly, movements, organizations and even individuals miss out on countless opportunities to advance their goals because they hemorrhage ideas, people and resources.
I’ve worked at the intersection of theory and practice, of research and action in movements related to access to essential medicines, access to knowledge, consumer advocacy for digital privacy, childhood obesity and digital food marketing, African diaspora women’s empowerment, global and domestic HIV prevention education, research and policy advocacy. These experiences have given me an insider’s view to diverse approaches to coalition building and collaboration. What I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that as important as connecting and convening people is to coalition and movement building, they are just the first step. The end goal is improved collaborations that result in more robust, agile and most importantly, self-sustaining partnerships.
Although collaborative partnerships are hard and often take up precious time and resources to forge they are well worth the effort. Especially if you’re working towards a broader vision in which your contribution can only be one small, though important part. I have been and continue to be a part of many movements, making my strongest mark as an influential collaborator who specializes in stakeholder engagement, building and sustaining key relationships and partnerships to achieve collective impact for meaningful social change. As a dynamic knowledge curator I also have a well-demonstrated expertise in using workshops, conferences, webinars, blogs, social media and marketing campaigns to translate complex social and policy issues into more accessible and actionable outputs for public engagement.
I have a Bachelor’s in Economics from the College of William and Mary and a Masters in International Educational Development from Columbia University’s Teachers College.