Interview: Becca Quick, Grants Manager
Becca Quick has always had a passion for protecting human rights--much of her career has been focused around this. When she started working at Rebuilding Together, she quickly made a connection between her international human rights studies and housing. However, after hearing Andreanecia Morris speak at Rebuilding Together’s MLK Day event, Becca shifted her thinking. Housing should not only be a human right, but a guarantee. The guarantee of neighbors being able to live safely in the homes and communities they love is what motivates Becca’s work at Rebuilding Together. We sat down with her and asked her a few questions about housing, her career and why she’s a [Re]Builder.
Let's start with a quick introduction--where do you live and work?
Hey there! My name is Becca, I am based in Washington, D.C. and I am a grants manager at Rebuilding Together’s national office. I manage our federal and foundation grant awards.
What did you do before working at Rebuilding Together?
Before working with Rebuilding Together, I was a grants manager for a humanitarian organization based in Erbil, Iraq. In this position I was also managing government and foundation grant awards, but from international donors. I was based in Iraq for two and a half years; it was a great experience and I got to travel around the country.
Could you tell us about your background in anthropology? How did it prepare you to work in the nonprofit sector?
I received a BA in Anthropology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2014 and Masters in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland in 2016. My focus throughout my anthropological education was how anthropology can be used to protect people’s human rights, particularly in international development projects. My applied anthropology background really taught me how to analyze a situation and apply creative solutions to human problems. This prepared me very well for the nonprofit sector because all nonprofits are mission-driven, they are out to solve problems in their communities, countries or around the world. Anthropology helps me stay grounded in the work, remember those community members we are trying to serve, while also thinking big picture-how can we do it effectively?
How does housing tie into your passion for cultural awareness in human rights and development?
Of course when I first arrived, I thought, well housing is a human right, this can easily connect to the international human rights laws I’ve studied and become so passionate about, housing as a human right is mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. But in her MLK Day discussion with our network, Andreanecia Morris said, “we need to move it beyond the concept of housing being a right, it needs to be a guarantee.” Her words really resonated with me. Moving beyond the idea of housing as a human right, but towards something that people are guaranteed is so simple but so beautiful. People should be guaranteed safe and healthy homes in communities they love. This motivates me in my work at Rebuilding Together.
Why do you think Rebuilding Together’s work is important? Why are you a [Re]Builder?
Rebuilding Together’s work is so important because housing is a source of stress for so many Americans, housing is not guaranteed as Ms. Morris rightly says it should be. But Rebuilding Together helps alleviate that stress for the neighbors we serve. I am a [Re]Builder because I support the impact Rebuilding Together has around the country, helping neighbors stay in their homes.