Marketing and communications strategist Angela Giacchetti is passionate about empowering people and working for social justice. A specialist in branding and positioning, cause marketing, and strategic communication, Angela independently speaks and teaches. She also works as Associate for Pipeline Fellowship and consultant to Three Furies. Follow her on Twitter @AGiacchetti.
How did you first become interested in social change?
Some folks have an “ah-ha” moment that they can articulate. I don’t. As long as I can remember, I have been exploding with questions about the world and feeling unsatisfied with the status quo.
Perhaps it comes from my not-so-unique family background. I was raised by a single mom who cleaned other people’s houses to keep our electricity on. However, I think I also come from enough privilege that I felt audacious and empowered to fight.
How do you define social justice?
Justice is not charity, salvation, sympathy, or paternalism. It’s about empathy and most importantly, survival. I don’t work on social justice issues because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I do it because my life depends on it.
What has been your most exciting experience as an activist?
The most exciting thing I’ve ever experienced was speaking on the Planned Parenthood Truth Tour in Englewood NJ. I got to share my personal story as a former patient to a large crowd alongside my elected officials. Although it was a delight to give voice to the patient perspective, it was my big brother that made the day. There was a lively counter-protest going on. When I was at the microphone, they were screaming very hateful things. One of my older brothers was in the crowd supporting me and pulled the counter-protest organizers aside to tell them I was his sister. While I was amplifying the voices of others, he was amplifying my voice. It was so touching to see my activism make my family stronger, and to see it click for my brother that the personal is political.
What is the most interesting project in which you are currently involved?
I am Pro-Choice Co-Chair of WIN.NYC (Women’s Information Network of New York City) and love the group of women I get to work with. It’s interesting to see how powerful meaningful connections with others can be in terms of social change. Don’t underestimate your personal relationships.
What is your vision for a better world?
One of the things I feel strongly about is defining equality. We need to get specific on how we are making strides for equity and justice. Let’s not simply toss around the words “justice”, “equality”, and “social good”. In my vision for a better world, we are able to define what we are exactly changing, how we are working to make progress, and how we are measuring that impact.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m working on approaching change through varied channels–political and social activism, direct service, leadership and mentorship, and even business. My work at Pipeline Fellowship has taught me that there are many ways to make change. We train women philanthropists to become angel investors through education, mentoring, and practice. Each participant commits to invest in a woman-led for-profit social venture at the end of the training.