Ai-Jen Poo challenged graduates to take action and fight for what they think is right at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa fall commencement, December 17, 2016. Poo is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the co-director of the Caring Across Generations Campaign.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance is the leading organization working to build power, respect, and fair labor standards for the 2.5 million nannies, housekeepers and elder caregivers in the U.S. The organization has its roots in Domestic Workers United (DWU) in New York, which Poo co-founded. DWU is a city-wide, multiracial organization of domestic workers that led the way to the passage of the nation’s first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010. DWU helped to organize the first national meeting of domestic worker organizations at the U.S. Social Forum in 2007, which resulted in the formation of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
After noticing an increase in the number of domestic workers originally hired as nannies and housekeepers being asked to provide home care for their employers’ aging relatives, Poo co-led the launch of the Caring Across Generations campaign in 2011 to ensure access to affordable care for the nation’s aging population and access to quality jobs for the caregiving workforce.
Poo is a 2014 MacArthur Foundation fellow, a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and was named to TIME magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012.
Read more about Poo at the UH Mānoa commencement website.