Faces of SAL: Susan Long-Walsh
August 31, 2021
We have more new faces on the SAL Board of Directors to introduce you to! Most of our board members began their SAL journey the same way you did: as readers and event-goers. Learn about the moments that inspired them to become involved more deeply with SAL, what they do, where they come from, and what excites them.
This week, meet Susan Long-Walsh!
When you’re not working with the SAL Board, you can be found…
…ordering more books to read from my favorite small booksellers! I also serve as a board member for Stolen Youth, a Seattle nonprofit that builds and invests in organizations working to dismantle the marketplace exploiting children for sex. I use my voice to amplify issues of race and gender equity. Most importantly, I spend time with family.
What was your favorite book as a kid?
The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. I went to a Catholic school from K-8th grade. All the books in the school library had to be Vatican-approved and, except for good ole’ Nancy, they were all about saints! My neighborhood library, Douglass Truth, expanded my love of Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Sadly, there were no books to be found by and about people who looked like me.
What is your favorite SAL event and why?
Tough question! Bryan Stevenson. Two family members are lawyers and tireless advocates of anti-death penalty work; my youngest is a public defender. Through their firsthand stories, as Bryan says, and his book title reads: Just Mercy—as humans, please, just mercy.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Seattle, WA. My grandmother raised her family in Alabama. She made her sons join the military because she said it was safer knowing that she was sending them to war than to be lynched in Alabama. All three were stationed at Fort Lewis. Thus, my parents ended up moving across the country from Alabama to Seattle in the early 1950s.
What’s your ideal Sunday?
Up early, taking the dog out for a quick walk… fixing a cup of joe, lighting a great candle, and grabbing a book to read!
What’s on your desk?
I’m a ferocious notetaker, so a journal is always on my desk! And Post-Its.
What’s your favorite book right now?
Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out by Ruth King. I care deeply about racial harmony, and this book is a powerful tool in the real work on racism needed in these polarized times. It is gifting me with practices related to my level of racial distress, especially in the workplace.
What emoji best represents you?
My thumbs-up—in my hue of course! It’s a positive symbol for me. It says: Yes I can… yes we can… yes we are!
What was the best idea you’ve ever had?
Right now, my TED Talk says it all.
What’s your personal motto?
You may not live with us, but you get to work with us. And “us” is a big drop-down menu! Celebrate all people.
Thank you, Susan!