A Q&A with our Policy and Advocacy Manager
We are thrilled to welcome Ivy Major-McDowall to the OCO team! Ivy joined us on August 10 as our Policy & Advocacy Manager. Originally from Oregon, Ivy began her work with grassroots organizations at APANO before moving to Texas to join a youth advocacy group called Texas Rising. There, Ivy worked with young people of color to fight for the issues they care about in their local communities and at the ballot box. In returning to Oregon, Ivy looks forward to spending time outdoors, eating at new places, and being with family.
What does your role at OCO include? What are you looking forward to in your new role?
A lot of my work will be engaging OCO’s Children’s Agenda partners around our policy and advocacy work. I’m very excited to bring my years of organizing and grassroots advocacy experience to the role. I’m looking forward to continuing to strengthen relationships, think strategically with partners, and genuinely listen to the needs of Oregon’s children and youth to inform my work.
What brings you to this work? What values drive you?
I deeply value compassion, collaboration, and reflecting community. I began my career in grassroots organizing because I strongly believe in engaging underserved communities and uplifting their voices in the political process. I started at APANO, then moved to Texas and joined a youth advocacy group called Texas Rising. Working in these organizations have really solidified my skills as an organizer and my commitment to advancing racial justice.
What’s a passion of yours you’ve yet to act on?
My mom would sing me showtunes growing up, so I used to dream about being in a broadway musical. In high school, I was in choir and theater, but once I got to college my passion turned more to politics. I still love to sing, but just for myself and my partner.
Standout books or podcasts that speak to you?
A book that I recommend, and one that really reflects my values and how I try to lead, is All About Love by bell hooks. It is not only a great feminist book that helps you understand love for yourself, but also love for community. Love grounds us and teaches us how to resist and thrive.
What superpower did you want as a child? What superpower would you want now?
I’ve always wanted to fly as a kid! Even though I’m afraid of heights, I’ve always been attracted to the idea of soaring above the world like a bird. It seems incredibly freeing.