Billy Yates

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Billy Yates

Billy Yates lives in Los Angeles.

Workers Defense Project

Billy Yates, was in 2011, an intern at the Workers Defense Project.


In 2013, Billy Yates United Students Against Sweatshops, University of Texas, Austin 4th year International Relations.

T-Mobile panel

On February 16, 2013, a distinguished group of national, international, and local leaders gathered in Charleston to hear testimony from T- Mobile employees. Their testimony provided compelling evidence of horrible working conditions and a complete absence of job security.

Members of the Charleston Speak Out Panel were;

USAS conference


Mark Gilliland February , 2013 with Petro On, Jared Story, Ash-Lee Henderson, Mark Ortiz, Francisco Rios, Melissa Godfrizzle, Keavy McFadden, Stephen Agwu, Bianca Hinz Foley, Jan Van Tol, Vee Ramesses, Claire Lewis, Billy Yates, AK Kulkarni, Terasia Carin Bradford, Maria Antonia Rodriguez, Lingran Kong, Leewana Thomas, Sol Gonz, Javier Figueroa, Alli Sehon, Brock Meade, Benji Ng, Jeffrey Lichtenstein, Melissa Horsfall, John Gieryn, Rigoberto Campos, Martin Xavi Macias, Carmen Armen, Kayla Frye, Kathleen Brower, Casey Sweeney and Sara Neumann at United Students Against Sweatshops 16th Annual National Conference in Miami!


Every year, the Strauss Center chooses exceptional UT undergraduate students to pair with one of the Center's Distinguished Scholars. These students, called Next Generation Scholars, gain experience in conducting policy-relevant research and writing through this mentorship program.

Billy Yates was a 2012-2013 Next Generation Scholar, paired with Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar Dr. Catherine Weaver. Yates is now studying Mandarin in Kunming, China. He recently sent the Center a letter updating us on what he's been up to since graduating from UT last spring.

“7 months since my initial move to China on a Critical Language Scholarship, and 5 months since enrolling at Yunnan University on a Chinese Government Scholarship, my experience has been nothing short of eye-opening. Living in a dorm with students from around the world, making friends, and improving my Mandarin have all contributed to making this an experience I feel truly blessed to have been given. I live in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, China’s most diverse province bordering Tibet, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.

“It is not always easy to be an American living in China, especially a Filipino-American. Following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, a few students and I held a bake sale to raise relief funds. While this simple gesture of goodwill would have proceeded without problems in the U.S., here it was complicated by the tense political situation between the Philippines and China due to the deaths of Hong Kong citizens during the Manila hostage crisis, as well as Filipino claims to the South China Sea. Nonetheless, the event was a success, and we were able to raise over 400 USD directly for relief aid. What I learned through organizing the event gave me a better understanding of the on-the-ground political environment in China.

“On the invitation from my former supervisor at United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), I had the opportunity to attend a conference on labor and union trends in Mainland China at the City University of Hong Kong. The conference featured mainland Chinese labor NGOs and workers, international professors (many of whom I had cited in my undergraduate thesis), and labor activists from across the strait. The conference not only deepened my commitment to learning Mandarin, but also renewed my desire to better understand the state of industrial relations in China amidst massive wage increases and unprecedented labor unrest. It has never been clearer to me that what happens for the working class of China is important for the working class and unions worldwide.

Billy Yates will be studying at Yunnan University until July of 2015; he plans to volunteer with a local NGO, the Yunnan Environment Developmental Institute in the spring, visiting rural towns to work on issues of water sustainability.[2]

Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward


Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.

Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?

This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.

Those invited, on Facebook included Billy Yates.[3]


  1. [, Standing up for Good Jobs in Charleston:]
  2. [ 29 January 2014 Where Are They Now? Next Generation Scholar Billy Yates in China]
  3. [1]