In this “Get to know your board members” series, we have interviewed the IFS board member and Deputy Executive Director – Youth and Aging Services, Susan Matloff-Nieves of Goddard Riverside in New York, USA.
Where do you work and what is your title?
I work at Goddard Riverside Community Center in New York City (USA) as Deputy Executive Director for Youth and Aging. It is a large settlement house serving 20,000 people at 23 locations. Our motto is “Investing in People, Strengthening Community”.
Briefly summarize your background.
For over forty years, my work has been in community settings and includes 28 years working in settlement houses community organizing for women’s employment rights, child care and affordable housing. I have written book chapters and articles about youth work, social justice, and gender bias, mostly in collaboration with other writers. I have a masters degree in social work and have taught graduate students in social work and youth work since 1987.
Presentation at the Moroccan Parliament in June 2019.
Describe what you do for Goddard Riverside.
As Deputy Executive Director of Youth and Aging, I support a department that includes early childhood education; youth programs that promote the love of learning and support for young people’s overall development and help them meet their own goals for the future; and programs that enable older adults to enjoy a high quality of life. Among Goddard’s programs, this portfolio includes community settings where people can meet each other to create a better way of life for themselves and each other in the settlement house tradition of incorporating the voice of our participants and elevating the voices of community members. Of particular interest is supporting Goddard’s Advocacy and Social Justice committee and the work of our collective impact project #DegreesNYC which advocates for equity in higher education.
What are your hopes for the future of the IFS and the Settlement Movement in general?
Above all, we continue to define our work as a movement and support international efforts for social justice. That we continue to create opportunities to learn from and support each other. That we can use technology to expand our networks and make them more accessible to a larger number of colleagues. That collectively we continue to confront fascism and hatred with solidarity and love while sharing strategies for working more effectively towards a just world.