Meet Nicole, Our New Chief of Advocacy and Campaigns - Caring Across Generations

Meet Nicole, Our New Chief of Advocacy and Campaigns

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We’re so excited to welcome Nicole Jorwic to the team as our new Chief of Advocacy and Campaigns. Nicole was a longtime partner of ours through her work at The Arc, and brings varied expertise from her work as a direct care worker, special education attorney, and disability rights activist. Read on to find out how Nicole’s family brought her to this work, what she’s most excited about at Caring Across, and how she likes to unwind. 

 

Nicole and her brother smiling in a car
Nicole and her brother, Chris

What drew you to Caring Across, and what does our work mean to you?

What drew me to Caring Across is the power of the movement that I see looking at the full scope of what care means across the lifespan to so many people. 

I was drawn to the work by my personal connection to it as a family member of people who need care. My brother has disabilities, but I’m also very lucky, at my age, to still have three out of four of my grandparents. They all have different levels of care needs, and seeing how they navigate our systems of care, and lack thereof, makes me want to support them and support others by changing these systems for everyone.  

 

What is your new role, and what are you most excited to dig in to?

My role is a new role at the organization, which is Chief of Advocacy and Campaigns. I’m excited to work with the great advocacy and campaigns teams, all the staff at CAG, as well as the great Care Can’t Wait Coalition at the national level. I’m hoping to continue to build our  coalition work nationally and also to grow and build our work at the state level, around both policy and coalition-building. By working together, we can show the strength and power of these groups across the care sector and build systems that work for everybody, no matter their backgrounds, so they can access care across their lives.

 

What kind of work have you done in the past?

I’ve been a direct care worker. I’m also an attorney by training: I practiced special education law, so I worked with families to make sure that they had access to the services that their family members with disabilities needed in school. Most of my work was pro bono representing families that can’t usually afford legal services. 

In the public policy world, I worked at the state level in Illinois doing disability justice and organizing work and, most recently, I was the Senior Executive Officer of State and Federal Policy at The Arc of the United States, where I worked on disability rights and advocacy. I have always worked on systems change in the policy world for people with disabilities, family caregivers, and direct care workers: to ensure that there is better access to services, better supports for families, and better pay for workers. 

At The Arc, I was really lucky to work with Caring Across Generations as a partner organization, and also really lucky to work with a lot of the same partners that both organizations work in coalition with. I am so looking forward to continuing to do that in my new role, and learn from all of my new colleagues.

 

What is your experience with care, and how did it bring you to do this work?

My relationship with care is about as personal as you can get. I have multiple members of my family who are provided the most personal kinds of care – including my brother needing support to communicate –  when they need it. 

Everybody deserves dignity in their moments of need and everybody deserves support so they can have the highest level of independence possible. Someone like my brother, for example: if he can have the level of support that he needs, he can work and live  more independently. And for older adults, like my grandparents, they should be able to have the supports that they need to age with dignity and stay in their own homes for as long as they choose, and be surrounded by their families, who can also provide intergenerational caring support that keeps them there, and the paid support they may need in the future. 

 

My connection to care has been as a provider, but it’s also as a witness. Being a witness to people who have the care that they need and seeing how their lives are better as a result has shown me that that’s what every person in this country and in this world should have, and seeing those without it drives my work as we go forward. 

 

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m very lucky that I come from a close extended family, so I really enjoy spending a lot of time with my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. 

I am an avid indoor cyclist – it’s how I get out of my head. I enjoy hiking and walking around DC with my dog. And I love to travel with my partner Dan around the country and hopefully, when it’s safe to travel again, internationally. I also love watching really bad reality TV shows. I like to keep my drama on the TV.