Five questions with Shannon Sullivan
Shannon Sullivan began as Regional Director of AFSC’s Midwest Region on December 4, 2013. We recently asked her a few questions about herself, her new position, and her hopes for the region.
Please tell us a bit about your background, both personal and professional.
I was born and raised in Chicago and love the city even during winters like this! I live on the south side with my partner and two children, ages 4 and 5. I came to AFSC after founding and growing a non-profit focused on LGBTQ youth in Illinois schools.
Why did you choose to work with AFSC?
I have always been most moved by values-based work, and AFSC embodies this strategy. I’m very eager to have the opportunity to expand values-based work to peace and social justice work much more broadly and also to work with the Midwest as a region and even AFSC nationally and internationally.
What are your impressions after six weeks on the job?
I’m really trying to understand the depth and breadth of AFSC's peace and social justice work within the region and around the world! AFSC is engaged in so many programmatic ways to work toward social justice, and my job within the region is to support those programmatic initiatives.
What are some of your hopes for the Midwest Region?
I certainly hope to be able to meet and connect with AFSC staff and volunteers all across the region in order to learn more about the work and vision and understand it more deeply. Through that process, I hope that opportunities arise to connect staff and volunteers in their work across the region and beyond so that more shared work toward common goals happens within AFSC and our partner organizations.
I further hope that AFSC is able to mobilize other faith-based organizations and groups to take courageous stands on social justice issues like immigration, institutional racism and mass incarceration. Of course, coming from a background where I worked alongside youth for systemic change, I hope to be able to continue that work within the values and context of AFSC!
What are your thoughts about connecting with Friends around the region?
As I learn here at AFSC and connect with Friends in Chicago and beyond, I hope to better engage with Friends who are interested in the work of AFSC and its roots in Quaker values. These relationships will strengthen and better the work of AFSC and its efficacy and remind us of our shared values.