Alice Walker, poet, activist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, once said, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
During the past year, thanks to the rise of the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up, the fight to end gender-based violence and harassment has taken center stage. More than ever women — and men — are speaking up and demanding change.
Suitably, Merriam-Webster’s 2017 word of the year was “feminism;” underscoring the curiosity and camaraderie the movements have spurred worldwide, and TIME named “The Silence Breakers” the 2017 TIME Person of the Year.
We’re now entering the closing months of 2018 and continue to be inspired by the incredible women and men keeping the momentum going in the fight for gender equality. This summer, local nonprofit Women Employed held its signature event, The Working Lunch, of which Make It Better was a proud media sponsor. In celebration of 45 years of being an active voice and changemaker for working women, Women Employed invited three activists who are making waves in the women’s movement nationally. These three featured panelists are empowering all women to raise their voices and fight for respect and equity in the workplace, on campus, and beyond.
Ai-jen Poo is an activist and leading voice for domestic workers nationwide. Poo is the recipient of the 2014 MacArthur “Genius” Award, was featured in TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012 and Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women list, and named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Poo currently serves as director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of Caring Across Generations. Earlier this year, Poo recently joined Meryl Streep on the red carpet for this year’s Golden Globe Awards.
Mónica Ramírez works on behalf of Latinas and farmworker and immigrant women to eradicate all acts of gender-based violence. Ramírez is co-founder and president of Alianza Nacional De Campesinas and recently authored an open letter to Hollywood, seen in TIME, which sparked the #TimesUp movement. Ramírez was invited to join actress Laura Dern on the red carpet for this year’s Golden Globe Awards. Under the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Ramírez was instrumental in the development of the Trabajadoras Campaign, a campaign aimed at assisting and empowering Latina workers in the United States. Ramírez was also active in the initiation of Latina Equal Pay Day.
Andrea Pino currently serves as digital strategy and communications manager for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, co-founder of the national survivor advocacy organization End Rape on Campus, and is the co-author of “We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out.” Pino attended the University of North Carolina, where, along with a handful of other women, she filed a Title IX and Clery Act complaint against the university. Pino has become a national leader and activist at both the university and national level. Pino was featured in the 2015 documentary “The Hunting Ground,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
To learn about the many ways you can join the fight to improve the lives of working women across every industry, visit the Women Employed website.
More from Make It Better:
- Overcoming Gender Bias in the Workplace — What Women and Organizations Can Do
- 9 Inspiring Women to Celebrate on International Women’s Day
- 42 of Chicago’s Top Black Women of Impact
Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.