How Nonprofits Work to Serve the Less Privileged Society
Ep. 78 - Dee Dee Strum speaks with Jatrice Martel Gaiter on TrailBlazers Impact Podcast as she shares her journey on becoming a nationally recognized expert in the world of nonprofit management. She speaks to the nation’s imperative to address the needs of those deemed less privileged in this great society. Jatrice is the Executive Vice President of External Affairs at Volunteers of America (VOA) the nation’s the 4th largest nonprofit owner and developer of affordable housing with the core mission of closing the gap in affordable, decent housing for veterans, seniors, people with adult intellectual disabilities, and homeless families. She also shares VOA’s mission and goals in providing a safe place for the under-privileged to call home, along with a wide range of supportive services to promote family stability. She has made a difference in the lives of countless others as a government relations professional on Capitol Hill advocating with members of congress for systemic change and funding that can make a big impact for those that VOA, and other nonprofits, work to elevate.
“The higher you get in your profession, the less it’s about you and the more it’s about other people”
Jatrice Martel Gaiter shares the influences and the value of a pay-it-forward career started in her early 20s and serving her well into her 60s. With a childhood defined by parents who stressed the importance of education as the gateway to a life full of opportunity, risks and rewards; and finding purpose in the pain of others, Jatrice provides a heart-moving backdrop to her stellar career path.
From the benefit born of the tenacity of parents raised in the poverty of the segregated Deep South of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, who themselves fought to achieve a college education followed by a commitment to a better life for their children, she speaks of the outcomes shared by she and her two siblings; all of whom benefitted from Ivy League institutions to still find that both racial and gender bias would follow them throughout the close of the 20th century and into the new century.
Her interview provides sage advice for women on the importance of "investing in YOU" with self-help books, learning new technologies, taking quality downtime AND, most importantly, the gentle reminder that the higher You Go, it's All About How YOU Make Others Feel.
As a 60+ year-old, 5'11" African-American blonde, she shares the humor and Up-side of what she calls "aging-out" of sexism, such as realizing you are no longer the object of "cat-calls" when passing a construction site, and not having to think twice about asking a male colleague if they have time to discuss a work related matter over lunch; although her preferred strategy continues to be her long-term tactic of inviting a male for a breakfast meeting which is almost always perceived as both safe and neutral.
Listen in to learn the challenges that African Americans encounter on a routine basis; especially when they have what it takes to be great. She willingly shares her advice on the importance of networking and the 21st C imperative to become digitally literate.
- About Volunteers of America and what we do
- Understanding how nonprofits work
- Education that shapes adulthood
- The challenges of being a black person in a world dominated by other races
- How sexism has evolved since the 1960s
- Learning how to network and build relationships
- The importance of investing in yourself
Jatrice talks about her nonprofit organization, Volunteers of America, and what it does [1:53]
Why VOA long-ago established its priority for veterans and their needs [3:43]
VOA’s mission to inform others about moral injury and how they help people address it [4:40]
How VOA works with formerly incarcerated mothers to reconnect with their children as they prepare to reconnect with their children [7:44]
The power of building relationships and clarity among the public by eliminating social work and nonprofit jargon [9:25]
The work of a nonprofit [10:40]
Jatrice shares how her parent’s upbringing shaped their desire for her to achieve even more [12:18]
She talks about the education she and her siblings received and how they were still undermined as black people in society [16:29]
How sexism has changed between the 1960s and the early 21st century [21:41]
The power of networking and building relationships [26:40]
How to invest in yourself [28:38]
Jatrice explains the importance of acquiring a basic digital education to keep up with times [30:02]
Never one to quit, she shares her future projects [33:10]