Ai-jen Poo

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Poo at the 2012 Time 100 gala

Ai-jen Poo is an American activist. She is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.[1][2][3] She is also co-director of Caring Across Generations, a national coalition of 200 advocacy organizations, advocating for home care workers and patients, as well as the lead organizer and founder of Domestic Workers United, an organization of Caribbean, Latina, and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York, organizing for "power, respect and fair labor standards".[4][5] She is a 2014 recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Award.[6]


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.[7][8] 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.[9]


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 overtime pay, three days’ paid leave, and legal protections from harassment and discrimination.[10][11]

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.[12][13] 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.[14] 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.[9][12] 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".[15]

She has also written for The Huffington Post.[2]


  1. ^ "Ai-jen Poo - 2012 TIME 100 Poll: Vote for Nominees Now!". TIME. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  2. ^ a b "Ai-jen Poo". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Home". 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  5. ^ "Caring Across Generations". Caring Across Generations. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  6. ^ New York Times 2014 Sep 17
  7. ^ Ai-jen Poo '92 named to list of 100 most influential people in the world, Phillips Academy
  8. ^ Ai-jen Poo, Community Organizer, Public Affairs Television, Inc.
  9. ^ a b Engler, Mark. "The YES! Breakthrough 15: Ai-jen Poo — YES! Magazine — YES! Magazine". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  10. ^ "Can 'Caring Across Generations' Change the World?". The Nation. 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  11. ^ "The Nannies’ Norma Rae". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  12. ^ a b "Staff | National Domestic Workers Alliance". Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  13. ^ "About the Participants | The Work-Family Dilemma: A Better Balance | New Feminist Solutions 3". 2003-01-01. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  14. ^ "Meet the 2011 American Express NGen Award Finalists". Independent Sector. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  15. ^ Steinem, Gloria (2012-04-18). "Ai-jen Poo - 2012 TIME 100: The Most Influential People in the World". TIME. Retrieved 2013-09-21.