National Domestic Workers Alliance
330 7th Avenue, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Made up of 39 affiliates, totaling over 10,000 members in 14 states and D.C.
Unity Alliance (made up of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Jobs with Justice, the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Pushback Network, and the Right to the City Alliance)
*Affiliations are known as partnerships on the NDWA website
Ai-jen Poo, Director since 2010
Ai-jen Poo is the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), 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. She 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 (DWU), 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.
Ai-jen 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 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.
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Young, National Organizer
Barbara has been a domestic worker for the past 17 years, and is well acquainted with both the exploitation domestic workers face—and the potential of domestic workers to organize for lasting change. She is an active member of Domestic Workers United (DWU), one of the NDWA’s founding affiliate organizations.
Barbara was instrumental in mobilizing her fellow domestic workers to win the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New York. She now uses her experiences with the Bill of Rights campaign to inspire and motivate domestic workers in other parts of the country to fight for similar protections. As a member of DWU’s Steering Committee for the past eight years, Barbara has helped grow DWU’s membership and deepen its impact.
Barbara has given her testimony at the Excluded Workers’ Congress, and has worked to build a global domestic workers’ movement through collaborations with Grassroots Global Justice and the Association for Women in Development. Prior to moving to the U.S., Barbara was active in the labor movement in her native Barbados. She looks forward to the opportunity to work on a larger scale for domestic workers’ rights through her new position as National Organizer.
Mariana Viturro, Deputy Director
Mariana has been an organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 12 years, and has experienced first-hand the potential of working-class immigrant women to advance movements for immigrant and workers’ rights.
As Co-Director of Saint Peter’s Housing in San Francisco, Mariana ensured the organization’s financial stability, built alliances and coalitions, and guided a programmatic transition from service provision to direct action organizing.
Through this transition, she collaborated with others to develop the organizing skills of staff, provide direction and coordination for campaigns, facilitate member political education, and innovate the organization’s new base-building model. As Transitions Director for Just Cause: Causa Justa, Mariana facilitated the merger of two grassroots groups while building staff communications plans to ensure the creation of a cohesive whole. In her years as a housing, immigrant rights, and anti-racism organizer, Mariana has facilitated participatory processes for developing campaign issues and demands, strategy and tactics. Mariana is also an accomplished Spanish-English interpreter who is able to build strong multiracial and multi-lingual alliances.
Jill Shenker, Field Director
Jill Shenker has been with the National Domestic Workers Alliance since its founding and came on as NDWA’s first staff person in the fall of 2009. In her current role as Field Director, she leads the capacity building program of the Alliance, connects the national campaign to local organizing, supports movement building collaborations like the Excluded Workers Congress, and leads the US campaign for an ILO Convention for Decent Work for Domestic Workers.
Prior to coming onto staff at NDWA, Jill was the coordinator of the Women’s Collective of the Day Labor Program of La Raza Centro Legal between 2003-2009. There, she helped build a strong domestic worker organization, campaigned with domestic workers for hundreds of thousands in back wages, facilitated the leadership development of members who now staff and lead the Collective, forged multi-sector coalitions, advocated for local and statewide policy changes, and co-founded the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Originally from Colorado Springs, CO, she has been active in racial, economic, and environmental justice struggles in the Bay Area since 1996. This work has included leading youth arts activism programs with Gay-Straight Alliance Network and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere), collaborating with the Challenging White Supremacy political education workshops, and working with other Jews around human rights in the Middle East. She is a co-founder, collective owner, and designer with Liberation Ink, a worker-owned apparel printing and design collective created to fund social justice organizing. In 2000, she graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
Linda Burnham, National Research Coordinator
Linda Burnham brings decades of experience as an activist, writer, strategist, and organizational consultant focused on women’s rights and anti-racism. Before coming on as the National Research Coordinator, she provided organizational consulting to Domestic Workers United and facilitated the Gender Justice from the Grassroots Inter-Alliance Dialogue gathering in March 2010.
Linda Burnham is co-founder of the Women of Color Resource Center (WCRC) and was its Executive Director for 18 years. WCRC was a non-profit education, community action and resource center committed to developing a strong, institutional foundation for social change activism by and on behalf of women of color. She was a leader in the Third World Women’s Alliance, a national organization that was an early advocate for the rights of women of color. Burnham led delegations of women of color to the 1985 UN World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya and the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.
In 2001 she led a delegation of 25 women of color activists and scholars to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. In 2004, Burnham was a leader of Count Every Vote, a human rights project that trained citizens to monitor the polls for the presidential election in the southern states. In 2005, Burnham was nominated as one of 1000 Peace Women for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2008, she was awarded the Twink Frey Social Activist Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2009, she edited the anthology, Changing the Race: Racial Politics and the Election of Barack Obama. Burnham is a frequent featured speaker on college campuses and to community groups, addressing issues of women’s rights, racial justice, human rights and peace.
Andrea Cristina, Mercado Campaign Director
Andrea is a cofounder of NDWA and has worked in major leadership capacities in the organization for the past eight years. She also worked for IPETERRAS, which is a sustainable agriculture organization in Bahia, Brazil.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance has emphasized solidarity between its membership and many other social justice movements. Unsurprisingly, the Alliance has become a valuable ally to the environmental movement. Although domestic workers may not be amongst the first groups hit by climate change, the NDWA has already highlighted links between climate change and the migration of many of its members. Not only has the Alliance denounced the Keystone Pipeline, but it has also fought pollution and vied for legislation to protect against dangerous chemicals found in household cleaning products.
In the NDWA statement on Keystone, the alliance ties environmental degradation to the plight of its immigrant population. After imploring the State Department to forbid the construction of the pipeline or “any actions that lead to the further extraction of Tar Sands oil from Alberta, Canada,” the NDWA thoughtfully explains, “Many of our members come to the U.S. from countries already severely impacted by climate change and environmental devastation. If approved and constructed, the Keystone XL pipeline will have a huge impact on our communities, on First Nation communities, on global greenhouse gas emissions, and risks major contamination of the largest freshwater aquifer in North America.”
As part of the UNITY Alliance, NDWA members travelled to Charlotte to bolster the 99% movement against corporate America. The updates from the excursion show that the trip wasn’t just about jobs. The NDWA says that “we went to Charlotte to stand with nearly 3,000 other representatives from the 99% to speak out against illegal foreclosures, dirty coal, and unchecked corporate greed… The past few days are just the beginning of an effort to unite domestic workers, immigrants, parents, children — all of us in a movement to reclaim our democracy, save our communities and protect our environment.”
In another collaboration, the NDWA joined with one of its partners, Women’s Voices for the Earth, to push Congress to adopt the Safe Chemicals Act and Cleaning Product Right to Know Act. WVE “works at the intersection of health, environmental and reproductive justice, and women’s leadership.” In a 2013 report co-released by the NDWA and WVE, green cleaning product brands such as Seventh Generation and Simple Green were showcased as a golden standard for safety and transparency. According to Jill Shenker, Field Director of the NDWA, “Domestic workers are often exposed to harsh chemicals used in household products. We need proper disclosure of allergens to educate our members and those who employ them to ensure safe and healthy work environments.”
Additionally, the research in the report “demonstrates the public health need for more information about the chemicals to which people are exposed. The Safe Chemicals Act, which was introduced in Congress last year, would require the chemical industry to disclose essential information on health and safety data on chemicals, including the chemicals that make up fragrance.” This foray into the legislative arena is an admirable modern day example of an unrecognized labor group standing up for its rights. Domestic workers are exempt from OSHA protection, so the passing of these acts would mark an enormous victory for the Alliance.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance has also provided its membership opportunities to gain environmental literacy. In the 2012 NDWA Congress, “Environment and Climate 101: Todays Crises and Struggles” was one workshop offered right alongside “Political Education” and “Organizing Strategies.” Clearly, the NDWA values the earth equally with the people that live on it.
Appendix 1: Member Groups
Somos Tuscaloosa (Associate Member)
Centro Laboral de Mujeres por un Mundo Mejor (Associate Member)
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles CHIRLA (Organizing Member)
Centro Humanitario (Organizing Member)
- District of Columbia
Break the Chain Campaign (Associate Member)
Ola de Mujeres of Miami Workers Center (Organizing Member)
Atlanta NDWA Chapter (Chapter)
ARISE Chicago (Associate Member)
http://arisechicago.org La Colectiva de Mujeres Tejiendo Sueños y Luchando (Associate Member)
Brazilian Immigrant Center (Organizing Member)
Dominican Development Center (Associate Member)
CASA de Maryland (Organizing Member)
Phone: 301-431-4185 x252
- New Jersey
New Labor (Associate Member)
- New Mexico
Encuentro (Associate Member)
- New York
Adhikaar (Organizing Member)
Las Mujeres de Santa Maria (Associate Member)
Fe y Justicia Worker Center (Organizing Member)
Tenants and Workers United (Associate Member)
CASA Latina (Organizing Member)