Growing up in rural Missouri, Susan Hart was taught to value every person that she met. As a child, Hart’s parents taught her compassion and open mindedness and helped spark her passion for social justice.
Now vice president at Huebert Builders and an active member of the community, Hart is an advocate for helping all citizens improve their socioeconomic status. She also works with incarcerated women to develop business and entrepreneurial skills.
Why do you think social justice is important?
Social justice is important because individuals need voices on their behalf sometimes. Maybe they’re marginalized in our society, they don’t have the social capital, per say, to advocate for themselves. So I think social justice for individuals is really important. Every citizen in Columbia should work toward social justice and it would just make our community so much better.
What does being recognized for the social justice category mean to you?
I’m very honored by this. There are so many active citizens in our community that are for social justice and I feel very honored to be nominated in this category. I think of all the different people and the work they do every single day on behalf of everyone in our community, and I’m very honored I was selected.
What do you think has been your biggest contribution to the Columbia community in terms of social justice?
I think my work with entrepreneurship and women-owned business is important work that I’ve tried to do. There’s lot of work still to be done, so I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface personally of what I can do and contribute. I have been working with the Women’s Business Center on the Aspire program at the Vandalia women’s prison. That has just been really eye opening and really given me a lot more thought about advocacy for individuals reentering our society after they’ve been incarcerated. So, I think that’s been a really important contribution that I’ve had and something I look forward to doing work on in the future.
What keeps you going?
I think it’s just that I know that there is still so much work to be done, and I really believe Columbia can be the best city in the United States for advocating for its citizens and making sure that every individual in our community has the same chances and opportunities. I feel like we have the right tools and the right people and the right attitudes in the central part of the United States to get it done. Every time that I even get to meet some individuals, I gain so much from just working with them in our society. I’m just so excited to learn, experience and grow from them.