Ai-jen Poo

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Ai-jen Poo


Ai-jen Poo is the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance , the leading organization working to build power, respect, and fair labor standards for the 2.5 million nannies, housekeepers and elderly caregivers in the U.S. [1]

Background

Poo began organizing immigrant women workers in 1996 as the Women Workers Project organizer at CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities in New York City. In 2000, she co-founded Domestic Workers United, a city-wide, multiracial organization of domestic workers. DWU led the way to the passage of the nation’s first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010, historic legislation that extends basic labor protections to over 200,000 domestic workers in New York state. DWU helped to organize the first national meeting of domestic worker organizations at the US Social Forum in 2007, which resulted in the formation of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She has been NDWA’s director since April 2010. Ai-jen serves on the Board of Directors of Social Justice Leadership, the Seasons Fund for Social Transformation, the Labor Advisory Board at Cornell ILR School, Momsrising, National Jobs with Justice, Working America, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the National Council on Aging.[2]

After graduating from Columbia University and working as a community organizer, Poo helped start DWU in 2000, assisting thousands in getting back pay and challenging other abuses. In 2007 she helped found the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which has grown into a network of groups in 19 cities and 11 states. Thanks to this organizing work, California passed its own Domestic Workers Bill of Rights earlier in 2013.[3]

Honors/achievements

Ai-jen Poo was the 2000 recipient of an Open Society Institute New York City Community Fellowship, the recipient of the Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award, the Ernest de Maio Award from Labor Research Association, the Woman of Vision Award from Ms. Foundation for Women and in 2009 was named as one of Crain's "40 Under 40" and New York Moves Magazine "Power Women" Awards.

More recently, she is a recipient of the Alston Bannerman Fellowship for Organizers of Color, the Twink Frey Visiting Scholar Fellowship at University of Michigan Center for the Education of Women, and the Prime Movers Fellowship. In 2010, Feminist Press recognized her in their "40 Under 40" awards. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day, Ai-jen was recognized by Women Deliver as one of 100 women internationally who are "delivering" for other women. In 2011, she received Independent Sector’s American Express NGen Leadership Award. In 2012, Ai-jen was named on Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women list and on the TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Her work has been profiled in multiple publications, including The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and The New York Times.[4]

Jobs with Justice

On April 21, 2009, Heidi Hartmann spoke alongside Steve Husson, Arlene Holt Baker, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ai-jen Poo, Kim Gandy, Johanna Moon, Sherrod Brown at the DC Lobby Day for members of the Workers Rights Board of Jobs with Justice - Employee Free Choice Act.[5]

Left Forum 2009

Left Strategy from the Grassroots:

Left Forum 2010

The History of May Day and the 2010 New York May Day March:

Left Forum 2011

Transformative Organizing: The Ultimate Solidarity:

Case Studies of Successful Multiracial Campaigns Rooted in the Working Class:

US Social Forum 2010

As the “Tea Party” Right rises in U.S. politics and the U.S. Empire continues to reach around the globe, there is an urgent need to build a new left that roots a creative, explicit, anti-racist, anti-imperialist politics inside working-class communities of color. In this session, Ai-jen Poo (National Domestic Workers Alliance), Steve Williams (POWER), Cindy Wiesner (Grassroots Global Justice), Ng’ethe Maina (Social Justice Leadership), and Patrisse Cullors and Eric Mann (Labor/Community Strategy Center) will engage Mann's new pamphlet, The 7 Components of Transformative Organizing Theory, which identifies 7 core elements of social movement building that have powered grassroots organizations on their way to winning historic struggles against slavery, war, apartheid and empire. The 7 Components of Transformative Organizing Theory is a companion to Mann’s forthcoming book, The 21 Qualities of the Successful Organizing: A Journey in Transformative Organizing (Beacon, 2011). [6]

National Leading From the Inside Out Alum

Ai-jen Poo, Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance, was a 2010 Rockwood Leadership Institute National Leading From the Inside Out Alum.[7]

Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011

Ai-jen Poo was one of the 158 speakers who addressed the Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011 . The Conference was hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future, [8]

"The 99% Spring"

Individuals and organizations supporting The 99% Spring, as of April 20, 2012, included Ai-jen Poo - National Domestic Workers Alliance .[9]

New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum is published by Center for Labor, Community, and Policy Studies, Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education & Labor Studies.

Editorial Board members listed, as of March 2013; were;[10] Elaine Bernard, Ron Blackwell, Barbara Bowen, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Arthur Cheliotes, Mike Davis, Amy Dean, Steve Early, Hector Figueroa, Janice Fine, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Juan Gonzalez, Marie Gottschalk, Gerald Hudson, Lisa Jordan, Tom Juravich, Robin D G Kelley, Jose LaLuz, Nelson Lichtenstein, Manning Marable, Ruth Needleman, Ai-jen Poo, Katie Quan, Adolph Reed, Daisy Rooks, Andrew Ross, Kent Wong.

"Caring Across America"

The Age of Dignity, Ai-jen Poo’s book about the challenge of elder care in America is "a daunting picture of need that outstrips our current capacity to meet it." Organizer of immigrant women workers, co-founder of Domestic Workers United, and Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is purpose-filled and optimistic about building what she calls the “Care Grid.” In calling for the creation of nothing less than a national infrastructure of care, Ai-jen Poo sketches out a landscape of elder care and shifting demographics that demonstrate why “a universal baseline of support” is a matter of national security that merits the level of priority the US gives to defense.

Ai-jen Poo addressed several audiences while in Honolulu, last stop on a 16 city Caring Across America tour to spark the conversations families and the broader community need to have to radically remake the way we approach elder care. She spoke to a packed room at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa, at a forum hosted by the Department of Sociology and co-sponsored by the Hawai’i State Commission on the Status of Women, the Hawai’i Immigrant Justice Center at Legal Aid, the William S. Richardson School of Law, the Women’s League of Central Union Church and Departments of Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies.

Ai-jen Poo acknowledged the leadership of Dr. Nancie Caraway and Governor Neil Abercrombie, who were present for her talk, in making Hawai’i the first state after New York to adopt the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights.[11]

CPA 40th anniversary

On August 4th 2015 to celebrate Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco)'s 40th Anniversary. CPA was proud to honor the National Guestworkers Alliance and New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice, the Free MUNI for Youth Coalition, and Jobs with Justice San Francisco.

Host Committee:

Rolland Lowe and Kathy LoweGrace Lee BoggsJosue Arguelles • Supervisor John AvalosAngelica Cabande • Supervisor David CamposMike Casey • Supervisor David ChiuAntonio Diaz • Reverend Norman FongConny FordMaria GuillenAlicia GarzaRoger Kim • Supervisor Jane KimHelen KimJee KimMario Lugay • Supervisor Eric MarGordon MarAlisa MesserLuke Newton • Supervisor Christina OlagueVincent PanTim PaulsonAi-jen PooRaquel RedondiezPeggy SaikaShiree TengMakani Themba-NixonHelena WongMiya Yoshitani[12]

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those invited, on Facebook included Ai-jen Poo.[13]

#Our100

#Our100 was set up in New York City, right after the 2016 election. Following the election of Republican Donald Trump to the White House, women of color in New York City are joining together over the next four days in solidarity against misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiments.

This action builds on October’s #GOPHandsOffMe protests, when women of color and survivors took to the streets and made videos in response to the tape in which the president-elect could be heard through a hot mic speaking about sexually assaulting women.

“Women of color-led coalitions are coming together in the first 100 hours after electing a new president to support an agenda for Black lives, immigrants, Muslims, Latinas … against rape culture and a sexist, racist, xenophobic policy,” said Agunda Okeyo, an activist, organizer, and African immigrant in the city who told Rewire in a phone interview that Trump is “a danger to democracy.”

Thousands will mobilize nationwide to tell the country that the leadership of women of color will not end at the ballot box. These first 100 hours are the kickoff to demand accountability from all holders of public office and to spread an anti-hate agenda that includes a vision for Black lives, common sense immigration reform, and an end to rape culture, according to the release.

A press conference by women of color leaders was held in Manhattan November 9. Speakers included My Muslim Vote’s Linda Sarsour, Demos President Heather McGhee, Movement for Black Lives co-founder Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris, Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, and Demos Vice President Jodeen Olguin-Tayler, as well as survivors of sexual assault and immigrant rights leaders.

Leaders representing Black Lives Matter, Demos, Forward Together, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance worked together in the week leading up to the election to raise the national profile of women-led organizing. Those efforts culminated in the #Our100 pledge and a wave of actions nationwide.

“We have a lot more work to do, to build the America we deserve. But we are strong, determined, and we are just getting started,” said Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and one of the organizers of this action.

Viviana Bernal of Demos and the #GOPHandsOffMe campaign told Rewire she is participating to end the culture of violence, rape culture, and sexual assault that many women have spoken up against since the Trump tapes went public.

“We believe Donald Trump basically admitted to sexual assault. Women of color and sexual assault victims felt triggered,” Bernal said during a phone interview. “He has been saying really racist, sexist things all along. It is only when his comments violated the rights of white women that it led to public outcry.”

The women of color participating in the campaign are outraged at all his vitriolic statements against marginalized populations and want to “center our voices and speak out,” she added.

“This election was a referendum on the politics of hate and division. We have a long way to go,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

In conjunction with the launch of #Our100, the leaders will release polling data from Celinda Lake about women of color voters and an open letter to the nation to be published in major national publications this week.

“Our work did not start, and it will not end at the ballot box,” said Olguín-Tayler, a survivor of sexual assault, in a statement. “We are women who lead organizations, work in Hollywood, teach in our universities, women who are ordained faith leaders, who run large businesses; women who are mothers, who take care of our land and our elders. We came together across our differences to write this letter to our fellow Americans because we know we can, and must, do better. We need a nation that does right by women. Because when women of color are doing well, when Black and Muslim and Indigenous women in particular are doing well—this whole country will be well.”

“We stand determined to hold the vision of a just, inclusive America worthy of ALL of her people,” McGhee said in the release. “No longer can anybody sit on the sidelines. This election will be the last stand of the past, and tomorrow is already being born.”

Marxist meme

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October 23, 206 Jodeen Olguin-Tayler, Yong Jung Cho, Xochitl Oseguera, Latchmi Gopal, Heather McGhee, Nikki Fortunato Bas, Sarita Gupta, Alicia Garza, Laura Dawn, Agunda Okeyo, Greisa Martinez Rosas, Edith Sargon, Renata Pumarol, Ai-jen Poo, Trina Greene Brown, Naila Awan, Pramila Jayapal, Cindy Wiesner, Brigid Flaherty, Serena Perez and Angel Kyodo Williams, were part of a #GOPHandsOffMe meme.

References