You ever get that feeling when you meet someone and pow! you can feel that person's beautiful energy and you're drawn to connect serendipitously, making an excuse that brings you two together? Well I did! I was flattered today when Arielle Black-Foley, an Outreach Coordinator at Prescott Area Women's Shelter (PAWS), agreed to do a little interview with me. I met her through the volunteer work I do there, where I am an overnight advocate one night a week overseeing things while everyone sleeps (or so we try)!Arielle and I met at a really chic coffee shop in downtown Prescott and sat at some high-top chairs in the nice, cool A/C. She's bright and with a personality that won't sit still, originally from Massachusetts and recently moved to Arizona.
Me: What/who inspired you to be in your line of work (describe your line of work)?
Arielle: I just graduated from the University of Vermont knowing it was important for me to do what I love and that it would involve the social sciences of some sort. Part way through, I switched my major, International Development, to a minor, and then chose Anthropology as my major. After making the switch, I was able to focus better on my passions: women's issues and empowerment via anthropology. From here, I began to view things on a much broader, world-conscious level, therefore when I set out on a field project I strive to maximize the local resources and societally analyze problems, such as with disadvantaged populations, in order to get at the root cause. Also, my mom inspired me, having a Masters of Social Policy.
Me: Do you have a special piece of jewelry that inspires you (I noticed you are wearing some interesting pieces)?
Arielle: I interned with Karen Sparacio, the founder of a non-prof called Project Have Hope, which is a cooperative group of Ugandan women (Acholi) that run their own micro enterprises making paper beads, textiles and hand-painted wooden tiles. I own a pair of their earrings that are beaded into a circle shape with bright orange beads. These to me convey a bold, empowering statement. I love to wear them, and they are kind of big. I sometimes wear these earrings from India and this bracelet from Spain (both gifts from other close friends that are worldly jet-setters like Arielle).
Me: Have you made any of your own jewelry?
Arielle: No, I'm too impatient. I go around with the idea thinking I'd like to someday, and that it would be relaxing.
Me: Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
Arielle: "If everyone were to do what they were capable of, then the world would be a much better place."
Me: Tell me about an exciting event that is going on for you right now regarding PAWS and/or working at the homeless shelter?
Arielle: This Saturday, August 20th, at the Prescott Fine Arts building, there are two shows (at 2pm/7pm) called Dirty Laundry. It's written by nine female playwrights, a field which I believe is primarily men and women are under-recognized. I love sassy independent performances with a twist of feminist humor so this is definitely my cup of tea/coffee!
You are the best, Arielle! Thank you for making the world a better place. xox, Sharon Marzonie