Breaking Barriers, Building Leadership

Caption: 9to5 Training Manager Allison Glass (far right) with members and staff of Refugee Women’s Network, a partner organization.

9to5 Georgia is now in its second year of funding, thanks to the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, providing workplace rights and leadership development training to low-wage women served by social service agencies, such as; Habitat for Humanity, Literacy Action, HOPE Inc. and several homeless shelters for women and children.  In the last six months of 2019, more than 170 women participated in workshops including; Know Your Rights in the Workplace, Equal Pay and Salary Negotiations, Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention, and the ABC’s of People Power.  Workshop participants are invited to meet and greets, chapter meetings and other entry level events to get to know 9to5’s work, and we build their engagement and leadership development from there.  Here are a few highlights from the past several months:

We worked with several immigrant and refugee serving organizations, offering a Workplace Rights training that included refugee and asylee rights. It was amazing to hear the training being translated simultaneously into five different languages!

After an Interviewing Skills training a young trans man approached the 9to5 instructor, disclosed his gender, and shared his anxiety about interviewing for jobs while his driver’s license doesn’t reflect his true gender. We were able to offer him support and resources on the spot, and connected him with a 9to5 special project coordinator who is trans and well connected in the community. They met and have formed an ongoing relationship which has connected the young trans man to a welcoming and affirming community of support.

A home care worker who attended a training with Refugee Women’s Network learned that she was owed overtime for hours worked.  We were able to assist her in speaking with her supervisor. We also assisted a participant from Literacy Action to gain protection under the American with Disabilities Act.

We hosted two phone bank sessions during Get Out the Vote for the municipal elections specifically for training participants. This was a non-partisan effort to increase voter participation of low income women of color.  It was the first phone bank that any of the women had engaged in, and they left with a very positive experience and feeling empowered at having assisted women in their community in having their votes and their voices be heard.

Our training program is an amazing opportunity to introduce people to the world of advocacy. For most of the women who engaged with us, it was their first experience taking political action. It is powerful to assist people in understanding that the challenges they face on the individual level are connected to structural and systemic issues that we can influence through public policy.

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