In this episode of Capital for Good, we speak with Ai-jen Poo, one of the country’s most innovative and celebrated leaders of the labor and women’s movements. She is an award-winning organizer, author, and a leading voice on economic inclusion and shared prosperity. Poo is the executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, director of Caring Across Generations, co-founder of SuperMajority, and a nationally recognized expert on elder and family care, the future of work, gender equality, immigration, narrative change, and grassroots organizing. She is the author of The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America, co-host of the podcast Sunstorm, and the recipient of countless recognitions including a MacArthur “Genius” award.
In this conversation, we discuss the origins of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), a nonprofit organization working to bring dignity, protections, and fairness to the growing numbers of workers who care and clean in our homes, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color, and how NDWA has grown in just fifteen years to include more than 70 affiliate organizations and chapters and over 250,000 members. We explore NDWA’s work in the pandemic, including the launch of its Coronavirus Care Fund, which raised and distributed millions of dollars in emergency assistance to domestic workers in need — workers who have long been essential to our collective well-being, and were particularly vulnerable and hard hit in the pandemic. We also examine the power of policy — the American Rescue Plan, Build Back Better, critical legislation at the state and city level — to strengthen the care economy with a thriving safety net and workforce that benefits us all, and the role that Poo and National Domestic Workers Alliance have played in passing these and other critical pieces of legislation, including Domestic Worker Bills of Rights in several states and at the federal level. Poo explains how various tools of change – policy and advocacy, storytelling, media, technology — help shift power and voice and “expand people’s imagination for what is possible.”
Mentioned in this episode: