2019 Champions of Justice & Gender Justice Honorees
Gender Justice Honorees
To celebrate our 45th anniversary, we’re honoring gender justice champions who have worked passionately to transform our workplaces and schools into spaces where every woman, student, and nonbinary person can thrive. They will be honored at our 45th Anniversary Gala Luncheon on June 14 in San Francisco.
Click on an honoree’s name to learn more about them.
Emerging Leaders of Courage
2019 Champions of Justice
Promotoras: The Women Who Said “Enough!”
“I am a brave woman. I am a promotora. I am an immigrant woman. I am a survivor.”
These are the words of Leticia S., from a letter she wrote to her assailant — her supervisor — when she bravely spoke out about how he violently assaulted her while she was working the night shift. Among the people who clean our offices, public buildings, and housing complexes, Leticia’s story is all too common. That’s why Equal Rights Advocates helped form the Ya Basta! Coalition of legal organizations, unions, and worker justice groups combating sexual assault in the janitorial industry. This coalition takes leadership from the growing grassroots organizing efforts of immigrant women janitors. The Coalition marked its first major policy victory in 2017 with the passage of the Property Service Workers Protection Act (Assembly Bill 1978, Gonzalez), co-sponsored by ERA and SEIU United Service Workers West. This bill now benefits more than 200,000 California janitors, security guards, and other property service workers by strengthening protections against sexual harassment and violence and providing effective training.
The Ya Basta! Coalition aids in the training and empowerment of the next cohort of immigrant women workers — promotoras — to be anti-violence peer advocates and leaders on workplace sexual harassment and violence prevention in the janitorial industry. Women workers and their male allies (“compadres”), many of whom have experienced sexual harassment and violence, are mobilized to train other janitorial workers on their rights, and together they will continue to lead the fight to create safe and equitable workplaces.
We honor these women and men for their courage, solidarity, and determination to hold their employers accountable. We honor them for the ways they are changing the culture of their industry. We honor them for their leadership and bravery in the face of injustice.