A Better World

by Alison Omens ’06

Alison Omens ’06

One of my feminist icons, Gloria Steinem, whom I first discovered at Scripps, never spoke truer words when she said, “The truth will set you free—but first it will piss you off.”

There are a lot of pleasant adjectives to describe the Scripps experience: beautiful, engaging, inspiring, poetic, meaningful. Scripps was many of those things for me. But it was also where I got— dare I say it?—angry.

Six years later, I’m putting that passion to use. I believe that imagining our world as better than it currently is, is profoundly human—regardless of what one believes is the path to create it.

In my better world, I see social and economic equality, more respect for our natural resources, access to information, access to power for every person. I hope to create, inspire, provide comfort, equalize, innovate, and build.

I currently work for America’s labor movement because I believe that through economic empowerment and a voice at work comes power over one’s life and the access to whichever door one would like to open. In my job, I tell people’s stories because I believe we need to understand what’s happening to people—what each other is going through.

It’s pretty easy to live in Washington and forget what drives you. Partisanship, power plays, resentment, and egos make you want to throw up your hands.

But then I remember what Scripps taught me: how to be a woman who doesn’t give up and how to be inspired by the people around me, all of whom are driven by the same passion.

Alison Omens is director of media outreach for the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C., where she oversees a 15-person department. She is a seasoned communications professional with responsibility for message development, tactics, and implementation.


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