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“To me, the word ‘service’ primarily describes working ‘with’ and not necessarily ‘for’ or ‘to’ another. As a volunteer in organizations working for social justice, I see the work with the people from the ground level up, as opposed from the pyramid level of top down, as the most prominent path in creating change for the good of the people at large.”

Clay, who became a registered nurse in 1975, spent his career working directly with patients, including 10 years heading a community health and wellness program for older adults at Baptist Medical Center. Since his retirement in 2010, he has used those same skills to advocate and care for some of the most vulnerable individuals in our community. He has been a community organizer with the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity for 11 years, including work to pass the Healthy Homes initiative in Kansas City and to pass Medicaid expansion in Missouri in 2020. He currently works as a community organizer with Stand Up KC, working on creating a $15/hour minimum wage, and with Jobs With Justice. For the past year, he has also been active with KC Tenants, working on affordable housing for all and ending evictions in Kansas City.

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