Susan Notkin

Position: (she/her/hers)

I have been working for social justice and the creation of a more humane, responsive, and equitable system of supports for families for over 40 years. I have held positions in government, philanthropy, community-based organizations, and for the past 20 years I’ve been at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, a national nonprofit committed to creating a racially, economically and socially just society so that all children, youth, families and communities thrive. Serving as CSSP’s Executive Vice President, I manage our program portfolio which spans work that encompasses our early prevention and promotion efforts for young families and efforts to reform, transform, and re-imagine our country’s family surveillance system. I am part of the Facilitator team with YouthNPower: Transforming Care.

Why is this project important to you?
This project is important not only because it is one of the truest examples of what co-leadership with young people really looks like in practice but also because I believe that society owes young people who have transitioned out of foster care a guaranteed basic income.

What do you hope to accomplish in this project? 
Our Direct Cash Transfer Pilot and the lessons we learn from the research our Youth Action Researchers will be gathering can help build the case for making such a fund part of our country’s safety net

What have been some of your experiences in the project?
I worked closely with the Youth Action Organizers as they prepared for meeting with the NY State Congressional staff on the needs of transition age youth. Watching them decide what issues to prioritize, research those issues, write and practice their testimony, and finally deliver their recommendations at the Briefing were beautiful examples of the power of young people to push for change.

What are your hopes and dreams for young people?
My greatest hope would be that all young people are connected and supported by family and community, that they have the skills, resources and education necessary to pursue their dreams, that they have the opportunity to give back and a voice in making the world a better place, and that they live in communities that embrace their full identities, culture, and backgrounds.

Susan’s Favorite Things:
Author: Too many to name
Color: Green
Book:  A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
Flower: Plumeria
Hobby: Dance and exercise
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn