2021 Emerging Leader: Valerie Butterbredt
Valerie Butterbredt is an enrolled member of the Bishop Paiute Tribe and an active advocate in the movements for equal opportunity for Native people and women, especially those who are pregnant and parenting. She has over five years of experience in the non-profit field serving Tribal communities, including as Executive Assistant for Toiyabe Indian Health Clinic in Bishop, CA; Membership and Advocacy Coordinator for National American Indian Housing Council in Washington, DC; and Administrative Assistant with Social Security Administration in Baltimore, MD.
Valerie is currently partnering with Equal Rights Advocates as a client in pursuit of justice for herself and other Native students after she experienced significant pregnancy discrimination, economic coercion, and institutional racism during her Master’s program. She wrote about the experience for Indian Country Today, exposing the problematic scholarship foundation that specifically recruits Native students only to mistreat them and, in cases like hers, use their scholarships as a form of blackmail against them.
As a mother of two who recently completed her MSW while pregnant, Valerie is a passionate proponent of family-friendly and family-focused workplaces and academic programs that provide pregnant and parenting people equal opportunities to thrive.
Valerie holds a Master’s of Social Work from Washington University in Saint Louis, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California Merced. She is a Board Member at Educational Multimedia INC in Saint Louis, Missouri.