WHAT: A panel discussion moderated by Maria Hinojosa
WHEN: January 17, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
WHERE: WGBH studio, One Guest Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02135
On January 17, 2013, Latino USA & WGBH joined together to start a rare and personal conversation with domestic workers, their employers, and other stakeholders like legal professionals and organizers, to learn more about the people who care for children, seniors, and homes. They are as important to the U.S. economy as they are to family life.
Nationally, there are growing efforts to organize this often-invisible group, and even create legal protections. With baby boomers growing older and many moms and dads in demanding careers, there is a ever-growing national need for home health aides, nurses, nannies, and housekeepers. What kind of protections do domestic workers already have? What more are needed? What about busy and stressed families who rely on their nanny, housekeeper, or home health worker? How will organizing affect them? How can employers and domestic workers have relationships of trust and dignity?
Moderated by award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, this candid and unprecedented panel explored the issues and challenges faced by domestic workers as well as nascent organizing efforts and legal solutions to problems like wage theft. It also looks at the employers’ perspective, exploring how to be a “good” employer, comply with laws, address their problems with workers, and otherwise cope with the inevitable complex challenges of employing domestic workers.
This panel discussion was part of a nationwide series of events organized by Latino USA to reach beyond the airwaves and engage in face-to-face discussion about the issues on which we report. Latino USA is an award-winning National Public Radio program produced by The Futuro Media Group with a 20-year groundbreaking history exploring issues affecting Latinos, immigrants, and people of color. This event was produced by The Futuro Media Group in collaboration with WGBH.
Barbara Young is a National Organizer for the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Barbara has been a domestic worker for the past 17 years, and is well acquainted with both the exploitation domestic workers face—and the potential of domestic workers to organize for lasting change. She is an active member of Domestic Workers United (DWU), one of the NDWA’s founding affiliate organizations, and has provided consistent and inspiring leadership for the NDWA since its foundation.
Barbara was instrumental in mobilizing her fellow domestic workers to win the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New York. She now uses her experiences with the Bill of Rights campaign to inspire and motivate domestic workers in other parts of the country to fight for similar protections. As a member of DWU’s Steering Committee for the past eight years, Barbara has helped grow DWU’s membership and deepen its impact through a simultaneous commitment to the organization’s internal operations and its external work. Barbara is a powerful public speaker who has represented DWU and the NDWA in numerous events and in the media. She has helped build bridges between sectors of excluded workers within the U.S. through testimony at the Excluded Workers’ Congress, and has worked to build a global domestic workers’ movement through collaborations with Grassroots Global Justice and the Association for Women in Development. Prior to moving to the U.S., Barbara was active in the labor movement in her native Barbados. She looks forward to the opportunity to work on a larger scale for domestic workers’ rights through her new position as National Organizer.
Lydia Edwards is the Director of Legal Services and head of the Domestic Worker Law and Policy Clinic at the Brazilian Immigrant Center. As head of the Domestic Worker Law and Policy Clinic, Lydia represents domestic workers, oversees the Domestic Worker Mediation project and is the co-author and editor of The Manual: A Guide for Domestic Workers and Their Employers. Lydia oversees the Center’s Legal Department and helps to form coalitions with other non profits and the private bar. Lydia speaks Portuguese and is working on her Spanish.
Olga Piox, Domestic Worker Organizer at MataHari: Eye of the Day, was born in Guatemala of Mayan descent. She studied at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and worked as a teacher in different public schools in the City of Guatemala. She emigrated to Boston in 1990 and studied at UMASS-Boston. Her role here in the United States has been to lend her services to the state as a Foster Care mother, providing home and care to children with disabilities. At the same time, she has been a domestic worker for many years, and today forms an important part of MataHari, organizing and coordinating the Latina community of domestic workers with the goal of creating community power to pass a bill of rights that would extend benefits and labor rights to workers, bringing the dignity and respect that any other worker deserves, to the workplace.
The Boston Nanny Centre has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing their unique and professional business practices. In 2001 the Boston Nanny Centre was honored with the Torch of Excellence Award for ethical business practices from the New England Better Business Bureau. Members of the staff at the Boston Nanny Centre are frequently called upon by the media to share their expertise regarding the nanny industry, including publications like Time Magazine, Boston Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The LA Times, The NY Times, The Tab, and The Boston Globe as well as on National Public Radio’s Todd Mundt Show. Alicia joined the Boston Nanny Centre team in September 2008 as a placement counselor. She attended Westfield State College and graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in Psychology, and in 2006 was placed with a family through the Boston Nanny Centre and was their full time nanny for 2 years. As a placement counselor at BNC, she focuses on the individual needs of each nanny and family, working with both to ensure a positive and rewarding working experience for all involved. She has been a guest speaker at local colleges regarding nannying as a career. Working as a nanny as well as through the agency has given her a unique perspective on the nanny field.
CEO and President, The Futuro Media Group
For 25 years, Maria Hinojosa has helped tell America’s untold stories and brought to light unsung heroes in America and abroad. In April 2010, Hinojosa launched The Futuro Media Group with the mission to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism that respects and celebrates the cultural richness of the American Experience. She is the anchor and Executive Producer of her own long-running weekly NPR show, Latino USA, anchor of the Emmy Award winning talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One from WGBH/La Plaza, Contributing Correspondent for Frontline and Need to Know on PBS.
Prior to launching The Futuro Media Group, Hinojosa was a Senior Correspondent for NOW on PBS, the CNN Urban Affairs correspondent for 8 years, a reporter for NPR, and producer for CBS Radio. She has written two books, including her motherhood memoir: “Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son.”
Hinojosa has won top honors in American journalism including four Emmy’s, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for her groundbreaking Child Brides: Stolen Lives, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of La Raza. In 2009, Hinojosa was honored with an AWRT Gracie Award for Individual Achievement as Best TV Correspondent. In 2011 she received honors from the New York Women’s Foundation, Hispanics in Philanthropy, and The Opportunity Agenda.