About The Author

Ai-Jen Poo

“Ai-jen Poo knows how to create social change from the bottom up . . . showing the humanity of a long devalued kind of work. This goes beyond organizing to transforming.” — Gloria Steinem in Time

Meet Ai-jen

Ai-jen Poo is the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Co-director of Caring Across Generations.

She began organizing immigrant women workers in 1996 as the Women Workers Project organizer at CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities in New York City. In 2000, she co-founded Domestic Workers United (DWU), a city-wide, multiracial organization of domestic workers. DWU led the way to the passage of the nation’s first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010, historic legislation that extends basic labor protections to over 200,000 domestic workers in New York state. 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. She has been NDWA’s director since April 2010.

In 2011, Ai-jen helped launch Caring Across Generations, a movement to build a caring majority committed to creating the systems and supports that allow us to mature with dignity, security and independence. Ai-jen serves on the Board of Directors of Momsrising, National Jobs with Justice, Working America, and the National Council on Aging.

Ai-jen is a 2014 MacArthur Foundation fellow, a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and was named to TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. Among her early accolades are the 2000 Open Society Institute New York City Community Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award, the Ernest de Maio Award from Labor Research Association, the Woman of Vision Award from Ms. Foundation for Women, Crain’s “40 Under 40″ list, and New York Moves Magazine “Power Women” Award.

Other fellowships include 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 2010, Feminist Press recognized her in their “40 Under 40″ awards. 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 2011, she received Independent Sector’s American Express NGen Leadership Award. In 2012, Ai-jen was named in Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women list.

Meet Ai-Jen Poo: The woman fighting "the unfinished battles" of the civil rights movement 1/12/15

About the MacArthur Fellowship

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Ai-jen Poo was awarded a Fellowship in 2014 for her work organizing and advocating for domestic workers.


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