Name: Claire Hortens
Hometown: Newport, Pennsylvania
Relationship to VISIONS: It’s Complicated 🙂
(Claire has been involved as a participant, leader and director.)
What does your life look like now?
I’m wrapping up a Master’s of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh. I’m focused on sustainable, equitable, trauma-informed community development, and feminist social work. I live in a great neighborhood in a great, strange city, and I have a wonderful boyfriend who lives here part-time and is based out of Brooklyn. I’m so fortunate, and working on finding more peace in that.
In one or two sentences, what do your VISIONS experiences mean to you?
I think my VISIONS experiences have largely allowed me the opportunity to feel really connected to people with whom I may not share a language, history, or home. [The experiences] have reminded me how healthy it feels to be uncomfortable, and to start by listening. They have taught me how to invest in every step of a process, how to care about having the hard conversations. VISIONS has been the backbone of my pursuit of social work and social justice for as long as I can remember.
What is something that makes you hopeful for the future?
More women and more diversity in politics. My relationship with my partner.
What is it like to walk in your shoes every day?
UMMMMMM this is an insane question to try and answer! ha. [My life] feels hectic, but is also characterized by a lot of amazing opportunity.
If you had to say one thing that was most memorable about your VISIONS experience, what would you say?
The Joy of Challenge.
What do you feel is one of your greatest strengths that you have to offer the world?
In what ways, big or small, would you like to change the world?
I’d like to help make sure that neighborhoods change in a way that benefits all the people who live there.
What would you like to be remembered for in your life?
The quality of my character and my relationships. Integrity. Laughter.
What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
Working hard on something I care about in service of equality. Relaxing hard, too, with intention. Living somewhere that Brent and I love.
Anything else to add?
I’m so glad that VISIONS is stepping back and bringing people together to celebrate the real impact it has, which I really do believe is so unique.