Poo at the 2012 Time 100 gala
|Ethnicity||Asian American, Taiwanese American|
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
|Known for||National Domestic Workers Alliance, Caring Across Generations|
Ai-jen Poo is an American activist. She is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She is also the co-director of Caring Across Generations, a national coalition of 200 advocacy organizations working to transform the long-term care system in the US, with a focus on the needs of aging Americans, people with disabilities, and their caregivers.
Ai-Jen Poo's Taiwanese parents instilled her with strong "social justice values". Her father was a scientist and one-time political activist who immigrated from Taiwan in the 1970s. She graduated from Phillips Academy in 1992 and Columbia University, where she was one of more than 100 students who occupied the rotunda in Low Library; this occupation led to the creation of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.
Ai-jen Poo began organizing domestic workers in 1996, with CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities. She is the founder and former lead organizer of Domestic Workers United, an organization of Caribbean, Latina, and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York that organizes for "power, respect, and fair labor standards".
In 2010, Domestic Workers United was instrumental in New York state passing the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law; this law was the first in the United States to guarantee domestic workers basic labor protections such as overtime pay, three days’ paid leave, and legal protections from harassment and discrimination.
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 that year. She has been NDWA’s director since April 2010. In 2011, Ai-jen Poo helped launch Caring Across Generations.
She has received the Open Society Institute Community Fellowship, the Union Square Award, the Leadership for a Changing World Award, the Ernest de Maio Award from the Labor Research Association, the Woman of Vision Award from Ms. Foundation for Women, 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 2009 she was named one of Crain's "40 Under 40" and New York Moves Magazine's "Power Women". In 2010, the Feminist Press recognized her in their "40 Under 40" awards. In 2011 she was named one of Yes!'s Breakthrough 15, and received the Independent Sector's American Express NGen Leadership Award. In 2012, she was named one of the Time 100 in Time magazine, as well as one of Newsweek 's "150 Women Who Shake the World". In September 2014, she was one of 21 awarded a MacArthur Fellowship grant, the so-called "MacArthur genius grants".
- "Can 'Caring Across Generations' Change the World?". The Nation. 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
- http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/arts/macarthur-awards-go-to-21-diverse-fellows.html New York Times 2014 Sep 17
- Ai-jen Poo '92 named to list of 100 most influential people in the world, Phillips Academy
- Ai-jen Poo, Community Organizer, Public Affairs Television, Inc.
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- "About the Participants | The Work-Family Dilemma: A Better Balance | New Feminist Solutions 3". Bcrw.barnard.edu. 2003-01-01. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
- "Meet the 2011 American Express NGen Award Finalists". Independent Sector. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
- Steinem, Gloria (2012-04-18). "Ai-jen Poo - 2012 TIME 100: The Most Influential People in the World". TIME. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
- "Ai-jen Poo, Labor Organizer". MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
- "Ai-jen Poo". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21.