Keane Bhatt is Senior Associate for Strategy and Policy for the Next System Project at the Democracy Collaborative. He is an experienced activist and organizer, having worked both in the U.S. and in Latin America on a variety of campaigns and projects related to community development and social justice. His analysis and opinions have appeared in a range of outlets, including The Nation, NPR, St. Petersburg Times, the Providence Journal, CNN En Español, Pacifica Radio, and Truthout. DOWNLOAD KEANE’S PRESENTATION HERE
Stuart W. Davidson is an attorney with the Philadelphia-based firm Willig, Williams & Davidson. He has represented labor unions and employee benefit plans since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1982, and currently serves as chief counsel to large regional and local unions along the East and Gulf coasts. His work for both public and private-sector unions includes leading contract negotiations, presenting interest and grievance arbitrations, representing employee benefit funds and advising clients on internal union matters. DOWNLOAD STUART’S PRESENTATION HERE
Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. A graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, she was listed in CNN’s “Top10 Visionary Women” and recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014, and a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2015. Saru’s latest book is Forked: A New Standard forAmerican Dining (Oxford University Press), published in February 2016.
Andrew McElwaine is The Heinz Endowments’ vice president for Sustainability and the Environment. He oversees the Endowments’ environment grantmaking and is responsible for building the foundation’s sustainability-related work and infusing the principles of environmental and social sustainability across the full range of the organization’s grantmaking and other activities. Andrew served for six years as the Endowments’ first Environment Program director, leaving in 1999 to become president and CEO of Pennsylvania Environmental Council. He later held similar positions with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the American Farmland Trust, a national farmland conservation organization based in Washington, D.C. He returned to the Endowments in 2015.
Carmen Rojas is the CEO of The Workers Lab, a innovation lab that invests in entrepreneurs, community organizers, and technologists to create replicable and revenue generating solutions that improve conditions for low-wage workers. A first generation Latina, she holds a PhD in city and regional planning from the University of California. A recent Fast Company profile noted that Carmen experienced the effects of being stuck in low-wage jobs from childhood, so she launched an accelerator to disrupt the cycle. The Workers Lab invests capital, offers an accelerator program focused on business and leadership development, and connects ventures to a broad network of supporters to support their continued development and success.
Matt Ryan is the Executive Director of the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), which he established through the merger of New York Jobs with Justice and Urban Agenda. He has coordinated multiple high profile and successful labor-community coalitions in New York City and State, including the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding, Transform Don’t Trash NYC, and Coney Island for All. Prior to moving to New York City in 2009, Matt organized low-wage worker unions in cities across the Midwest. In Cincinnati, he led the Justice for Janitors campaign that united 1,500 commercial office janitors and built broad community support with local faith, community, and political leaders.
Heidi Shierholz, Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, has been one of the leaders within the Obama Administration in the development and now rollout of the new federal overtime rule. She held previous positions at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC, and the University of Toronto. She has done research in the areas of wage inequality, employment and unemployment policy, long-term unemployment, labor force participation, the minimum wage, young workers, and immigration. DOWNLOAD HEIDI’S PRESENTATION HERE
Kati Sipp is the Future of Work Campaigns Director for the National Guestworkers Alliance. She is also the editor of the blog Hack the Union, which focuses on the intersections of work, organizing and technology. Prior to her work with NGA, she founded the Pennsylvania affiliate of Working Families, and spent nine years working for SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, serving as the statewide Political Director and Executive Vice President of the local.
Erica Smiley, Organizing Director, Jobs With Justice, which fights for workers’ rights and an economy that benefits everyone by combining innovative communications strategies and solid research and policy advocacy with grassroots action and mobilization. Erica also sits on the board of the Highlander Research and Education Center and the editorial board of the online publication Organizing Upgrade. In the past, she has organized with community groups such as Progressive Maryland, the Tenants and Workers Support Committee (now Tenants and Workers United) in Virginia, and SEIU Local 500, and served as national field director of Choice USA, a pro-choice organization focusing primarily on youth access to reproductive health care.