Alejandra Juárez, Emergency Labor Network (ELN)

Immigrant & Workers’ Rights: The Occupy Movement in California

Monday, November 14, 4 pm, 206 Ingraham

Co-sponsored by the Teaching Assistants Association (TAA) and the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC).

ALEJANDRA JUÁREZ was born in the Central Valley of California. Both her maternal and paternal grandfathers were braceros during the 1930s. Her own parents began migrating in the 1970s following the harvest seasons in California, providing her with a bi-national upbringing. At the age of 15 she began working alongside her parents and older siblings as a farm worker during school breaks. After earning her BA at California State University, Stanislaus, she worked assisting immigrant adults learn English. Since then, she has also worked as a women’s advocate against violence and sexual abuse, on campaigns to end the U.S. blockade on Cuba and on issues of food security among Latino immigrants, and has traveled to Venezuela, Mexico, and Paraguay as part of solidarity delegations. In 2007 she returned to university for a Masters in Public Policy from Oregon State University. There she wrote her thesis on Mexican agricultural policies. In the process of writing, she became aware of the inextricable link between NAFTA, the WTO, IMF, and OECD policies and the displacement of Mexican workers and campesinos who then are forced to migrate North. In early 2010 she began writing for El Organizador and joined its editorial board shortly thereafter. More recently, she organized for the March 4th (2010) and March 2nd (2011) State-wide Day of Action in defense of public education and against the budget cuts in California. She has been involved in organizing in the immigrant/Latino community for several years as part of a grassroots coalition known as the Alianza (or Alliance for a Just Immigration Policy). She’s on the road today sponsored by the Emergency Labor Network (ELN) and Alianza por una Política Migratoria Justa to build a network of grassroots Worker-Community Committees where the struggles for workers’ and immigrant rights — women, Blacks, Latinos, and other oppressed sectors — can unite and stand firmly based on politics of independence from the dominating parties and corporations.