“It's a great feeling when your job feels more like a vocation,” says Emily Powers ‘13, Associate Marketing Manager at Beacon Press.
The pursuit for something more—meaning and purpose—Powers says, comes from her Le Moyne professors pushing her and inspiring her to do what she wanted to do—and nothing else.
“Publishing is a really difficult field to break into, and I was very single-minded in my pursuit of that, but no one ever told me to be more ‘rational’ or ‘practical’ and just try to get some easier job in a different field—my professors challenged me, encouraged me, taught me how to write and communicate effectively and gave me confidence in myself.”
Beacon Press, founded in 1854, is an independent publisher producing titles on religion, history, current affairs, political science, gay/lesbian/gender studies, education, African-American studies, women's studies, child and family issues, and nature and the environment. Beacon Press has published many well-known literary classics such as James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son, Jean Baker Miller’s Toward a New Psychology of Women, Cornel West’s acclaimed Race Matters, as well as collections by Pulitzer-prize winning poet Mary Oliver. Publishing continuously for 162 years, Beacon’s mission is to “change the way readers think about fundamental issues” by promoting “freedom of speech and thought, diversity, religious pluralism, anti-racism, and respect for diversity in all areas of life.”
With Beacon Press’s huge range of heavy topics emphasizing social justice, for Powers, having to categorize and appropriately market each series takes a broad knowledge across multiple disciplines, a passionate curiosity, and strong desire to promote Beacon’s mission for justice. “It's such a mission-driven place—just like Le Moyne,” says Powers. Advocating for often challenging, but important titles takes a great resolve and desire to promote and respect a diversity of ideas. “It's one reason I'm glad I went to a Jesuit institution,” says Powers. “As alumni, we get to use the privileges we've been given in order to hopefully leave the world a better place after we've gone.”
Powers, in her job—or her vocation—is doing her part to promote a more just society with each new release.
“I know all sorts of Le Moyne alumni who are all acting on this principle in different ways, through education, through health care, and through the arts. As someone in publishing, it's important to me to tell the right kind of stories, to amplify the voices of people who might not otherwise be heard. To me, being a successful Le Moyne graduate means doing well for yourself, but also doing good in the process.”
Article by Arin Jackubowski ‘17.
Arin is interning with the Offices of Communications and Advancement this semester.