Senior Policy Analyst
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
"POVERTY IS MAN-MADE"
Fast fact: Tweet her @Lexii_renee
As a senior analyst at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, which she joined in October 2014, Alexis Posey has worked on programs to help individuals sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act, especially those suffering with HIV/AIDS. The Westchester County native also managed campaigns to connect day laborers to jobs and aid small businesses. As an analyst for the Drug Policy Alliance, she helped shepherd a bill to reform medical marijuana laws become state law in 2014.
NYN: HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN YOUR FIELD?
AP: I come from a black family, I’m a black woman growing up in a really low income community, so I was always very aware all of the issues and deeply affected by all of the issues that we raise today. How I got into drug policy, basically, was seeing how the drug pattern shifted my community and also seeing how criminalization functioned in my community. I had family members in my life who had HIV or AIDS and then passed away. So I was always aware and always wanted to do something, even at an early age, trying to figure out ways to connect, whether it was being 12 and going to City Hall and being like, “I want to help out with something!”
NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.
AP: Marijuana is very controversial, but obviously medical marijuana has relief for a lot of people, particularly people living with HIV and AIDS because they experience wasting. I’m very proud of that bill; that was two years of my life working on that campaign while I was in grad school. I’m really proud of what went into building this campaign and locating patients across the state and teaching them how to advocate for themselves.
NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?
AP: Maybe just a general understanding of how racism and structural institutional racism impacts all of the work in all of the ways we serve, I think that would be really helpful. A lot of time you’re sitting trying to explain to a lot of people why me, as a woman of color, will have a completely different experience in the health care system than a white woman or a while male. If there was this universal lens, I think that might be helpful.
NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
AP: Poverty is man-made, and I would love to see an end to poverty and see a world where you don’t have to have the haves and have-nots. There’s no reason for one person to be hungry when other people have an abundance of food and wealth.