What a year it has been. Together, we witnessed injustices, changes, and victories around us – all in the midst of the pandemic.
While it was certainly challenging in many ways, it also showed how strong we are together, even in the toughest of times. And, most importantly, it showed us that there is hope, witnessing emerging leaders rising to right the wrongs in our nation.
As 2021 draws to a close, we continue to stay hopeful in our commitment to centering working women, especially the historically marginalized, and addressing particular issues we face in the workforce.
As the new state director for 9to5 Wisconsin, I am deeply honored to be a part of this movement and to be serving alongside you. From successfully passing paid leave in the Build Back Better act to lifting child care issues to key legislators, our work has never been done alone. It will not be done alone, and I refuse to do this alone. Collective liberation will continue to be the key to inspiring and driving the change we want to see in the world.
My mother, a young war-refugee who was forced to resettle in America with four children to provide for, faced numerous barriers from all sides – educational, occupational, lingual, and cultural. Little did I know that each barrier would resurface in my life as a woman of color. Inheriting generational poverty and racial injustice robbed me of my childhood, as I was forced to quickly learn how to survive in this country as an Asian American woman.
My mother’s arrival was nearly 40 years ago and, unfortunately, our society has not changed with its lack of support for working women from all backgrounds. My mother’s experience is not uncommon, and its generational impact is very real. Today, all working women continue to be our economy’s life source, and we must demand more equitable and just policies so we can all live dignified lives.
As we look forward to the new year, my hope is to continue building a stronger 9to5 Wisconsin to drive transformational change at all levels. The work we do is important – but not without challenges. At the grassroots level, we are there. At the institutional level, we are there. At the policy level, we are there.
We will not be going anywhere until we demand better support for our families who have been hurting for far too long – families who are stripped of their human rights; families who are crippled from systemic poverty generation after generation; and families who continue to face discrimination at all levels in our society.
The end of the year is a time for reflection, self-care, and pause, so that we can stride further than ever before.
May this time of year bring you and your family hope and rest. Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do.
State Director, 9to5 Wisconsin