Veronica Brownstone (University of Pennsylvania) Email

Veronica Brownstone’s dissertation examines the cultural dynamics of unemployment and insecurity in contemporary Central America and Mexico. Her broader research interests include 20th and 21st Century Latin American literature and film, political economy, labor politics, migration, and criminality. Her dissertation research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as several grants and fellowships from the University of Pennsylvania.

Norma Coe (University of Pennsylvania) Email

Norma B. Coe is an Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine. Her research interests are in health economics and public finance. Her work strives to identify causal effects of policies that directly and indirectly impact health, human behavior, health care access, and health care utilization. One focus of her research has been long-term care and long-term care insurance, and how they affect the health, work behavior, and health care utilization of current and potential caregivers. In ongoing work, Dr. Coe and her colleagues are estimating the direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, the quality of informal caregiving relative to formal care provision. Prior to joining Penn, she was an Assistant Professor in Health Services at the University of Washington, and the Associate Director of Research at the Boston College Center for Retirement Research. She received her PhD in Economics from MIT and BA in Economics from the College of William and Mary.

Amy Cohen (Hand In Hand)

Amy Cohen is a community organizer and consultant who works on organizing campaigns, staff development, organizer training, coalition building and strategic planning with progressive organizations in Pennsylvania, New York, Washington DC, and nationally.

Claudia Dominguez (Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance)

Claudia Dominguez is an active member of the Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance.

Nancy Folbre (University of Massachusetts) Email

Nancy Folbre is Professor Emerita of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research explores the interface between political economy and feminist theory, with a particular emphasis on the value of unpaid care work. In addition to numerous articles published in academic journals, she is the editor of For Love and Money: Care Work in the U.S. (Russell Sage, 2012), and the author of Greed, Lust, and Gender: A History of Economic Ideas (Oxford, 2009), Valuing Children: Rethinking the Economics of the Family (Harvard, 2008), and The Invisible Heart: Economics and Family Values (New Press, 2001). She has also written widely for a popular audience, including contributions to the New York Times Economix blog, The Nation, and the American Prospect. Her current writing on the political economy of care provision can be seen on her blog, Care Talk.

Pilar Gonalons-Pons (University of Pennsylvania) Email

My research examines how work, families, and public policies structure economic inequalities, with a particular focus on how inequalities change over time and over the life course. I employ quantitative techniques and longitudinal datasets from multiple countries along with content analyses of documents and interview data. My studies contribute to debates about the uneven change in gender inequalities, the role of family processes in exacerbating inequalities across families, and the relevance of public policies in mediating these processes.

My current projects focus on the impact of changes in wives’ earnings on income inequality in 8 countries 1975-2015, the effects of the Great Recession on workers’ career mobility and family formation in 30 countries, and changes in couples’ work and earnings after childbirth in the U.S. 1970-2010. My research has been published in Demography, Social Science Research, and the RSF: Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.

Jaira J. Harrington (Villanova University) Email

Dr. Jaira J. Harrington is currently an Assistant Professor of Global Interdisciplinary Studies at Villanova University. Prior to this faculty position, Dr. Harrington served as a 2017-18 William J. Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar in Brazil. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Wake Forest University in the Department of Politics and International Affairs. Dr. Harrington earned her doctorate in Political Science in the subfield of Comparative Politics at the University of Chicago. Her current research and writing focuses on the union organizing of domestic workers in unions in Brasília, São Paulo, and Salvador.

Tony Heriza (New Day Films) Email

Tony’s award-winning films and videos have addressed a broad range of social issues, including gentrification, immigration, racism, gender equity, sexuality, criminal justice, and peacebuilding. His 2010 New Day documentary “Concrete, Steel & Paint,” produced with Cindy Burstein, helped spark dialogue about restorative justice in the U.S., then recently found a new audience in Colombia, stimulating complex conversations about that country’s peace and reconciliation process. His most recent New Day film, “Care,” produced with Deirdre Fishel, is an intimate exploration of home-based elder care from the POV of both workers and their clients. Tony has a B.A. from Antioch College and a Master’s degree from Rutgers University. He has taught media production at Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania and serves as Director of Media Production for the American Friends Service Committee. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Jane Golden, a dog and two cats.

Melissa Hodges (Villanova University) Email

Melissa J. Hodges is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology and Criminology Department at Villanova University. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her work has been published in the American Sociological Review, Gender & Society, and Social Problems. She is a past recipient of the Reuben Hill Award from the National Council on Family Relations, the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Research Excellence in Families and Work, and the Article of the Year Award from American Sociological Association’s Family section. Her primary research interests Gender, Race, and Family Status Inequality in Labor Markets, Care Work, and Work and Family Policy.

Allison Hoffman (University of Pennsylvania) Email

Allison Hoffman, an expert on health care law and policy, is a Professor of Law at University of Pennsylvania Law School and a Visiting Professor of Law and Oscar M. Ruebhausen Distinguished Senior Fellow at Yale Law School in 2019. Professor Hoffman’s work examines some of the most important legal and social issues of our time, including health insurance regulation, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and retiree healthcare expenses, and long-term care. In particular, her work questions the role of regulation and the welfare state in promoting health, as well as how regulation affects conceptions of risk and responsibility.

She is a co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of U.S. Health Law. Hoffman received her AB summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and her JD from Yale Law School. She was a fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard. Before entering academia, she practiced health law at Ropes & Gray LLP and provided strategic advice to corporations and nonprofit organizations as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and The Bridgespan Group.

Roberta Rehner Iversen (University of Pennsylvania) Email

Roberta (Bobbie) Iversen is Associate Professor and former faculty director of the M.S. in Social Policy program in Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice. Her research focuses on economic mobility, especially in relation to families who are working but still poor. Housing policy in Milwaukee and workforce development programs and policy in New Orleans, Seattle, St. Louis, and Philadelphia were improved by findings from her Annie E. Casey Foundation-funded five-year, five-city research (2000-2005). The ethnographic research also resulted in Jobs Aren’t Enough: Toward a New Economic Mobility for Low-Income Families (2006; Temple University Press; co-author A.L. Armstrong), which presented new ways to increase the economic mobility of low-income families. Iversen then collaborated with Frank F. Furstenberg (Zellerbach Family Professor of Sociology, Emeritus Research Associate, Population Studies Center) on the grant-funded “Families in the Middle” project, which was a multi-site examination of how middle-income families in the U.S. and Canada experienced the Great Recession. Numerous papers about work, family, and financial decision making resulted from this project.

Iversen is currently working on a second book manuscript, Transforming “Work”: What Everyday Work Was, Is, and Could Be (draft title). The first two parts of the book illuminate what “work” was and is via narratives from everyday workers about their work during the recent period of major labor market changes (1980s to today). Transforming “Work” will conclude with ideas about what “work” could be through compensated civil labor.

Gayle Kirshenbaum (Hand In Hand)

Gayle Kirshenbaum is a founding member of, Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Association, and blogs about Today’s Help.

Jennifer Klein (Yale University) Email

Jennifer Klein is a Professor in the field of 20th Century U.S. history. She earned her PhD at the University of Virginia and first came to Yale as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation fellow in Health Policy. Klein was the winner of the 2014 Hans Sigrist Prize awarded by the University of Bern (Switzerland) and the Hans Sigrist Foundation for her contribution to the field of “Women and Precarity: Historical Perspectives.” Professor Klein’s research spans the fields of U.S. labor history, urban history, social movements and political economy.  Her publications include Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State (Oxford, 2012), co-authored with Eileen Boris, which was awarded the Sara A. Whaley book prize from the National Women’s Studies Association; and For All These Rights: Business, Labor, and the Shaping of America’s Public-Private Welfare State (Princeton, 2003) which was awarded the Ellis W. Hawley Prize in Political History/Political Economy from the Organization of American Historians and The Hagley Prize in Business History from the Business History Conference. Writing about the intersection between labor politics and the welfare state, she has written articles on the history of health care policy, Social Security, pensions, collective bargaining and New Deal liberalism, including “The Politics of Economic Security: Employee Benefits and the Privatization of New Deal Liberalism,” published in the Journal of Policy History.  She is co-director of the Initiative on Labor and Culture with Michael Denning and is affiliated with the History of Science & Medicine and Women’s Studies programs.

A labor history of home health care workers from the 1930s to the present, Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State (Oxford University Press, 2012) co-authored with Eileen Boris, explores the links between public welfare, health care, social movements and employment law.  Their articles on home care workers, long term care and labor organizing include: “Organizing Home Care: Low-Waged Workers in the Welfare State” in Politics and Society (March 2006); “We Were the Invisible Workforce: Unionizing Home Care” in The Sex of Class: Women Transforming American Labor, ed. Dorothy Sue Cobble (ILR/Cornell Press, 2007), “Laws of Care: The Supreme Court and Aides to Elderly People” in Dissent (Fall 2007),“Organizing the Carework Economy: When the Private Becomes Public,” in Rethinking U.S. Labor History: Essays in the Working-Class Experience, 1756-2009, Donna Haverty-Stacke and Daniel Walkowitz, eds. (Continuum,  2010), “Frontline Caregivers: Still Struggling” in Dissent (Winter 2012) and  “Home Care Workers Aren’t Just Companions,” New York Times, July 2, 2012.

She is Senior Editor of the journal International Labor and Working Class History.  She edited a special issue of ILWCH, The Class Politics of Privitization: Global Perspectives on the Privitization of Public Workers, Land, and Services No. 71 (Spring 2007). In addition to academic publications, her articles on labor, low-wage work, care, and social policy have appeared in Dissent, The New York Times, The Nation.com, WashingtonPost.com, American Prospect (TAP.org), New Labor Forum, Labor Notes, CNN.com and Democracy. She teaches courses in labor history, 20th century political economy, U.S. urban history, U.S. women’s history, and contemporary America, 1945-Present.

Katherine Eva Maich (Pennsylvania State University) via Skype South Africa IDWF Convention Email

Katherine Eva Maich holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law & Society. Her research and teaching interests include gender and feminist theory, domestic work, law and social policy, ethnography, Latin America, and the Global South. Katherine was recently a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Center for Global Workers’ Rights at Penn State, and her research examines the reproduction of gender and racial inequality, domestic worker organizing, and the home as a site of labor. Her book project, Bringing Law Home: Regulating Domestic Workers’ Rights in Lima and New York City, draws upon more than 18 months of ethnography and 120 in-depth interviews to show how progressive labor laws for domestic workers are stifled by historically-entrenched patterns of colonial and racialized relations in those two cities.

Katherine’s work has been funded by the American Association of University Women American Dissertation Fellowship, the Inter-American Foundation’s Grassroots Development Fellowship (IIE), and the Mellon Latin American Sociology Fellowship, and her dissertation was recognized with the Honorable Mention in LERA’s 2018 Thomas A. Kochan and Stephen R. Sleigh Best Dissertation Award Competition.

Leydis Muñoz (National Domestic Workers Alliance)

Leydis Muñoz is a full-time nanny and member of the National Domestic Workers Alliance in New York.

Lolita Owens

Lolita Owens is a home care attendant and member of SEIU Healthcare PA’s Executive Board.

Kialenah Stewart (United Home Care Workers of PA)

Kialenah Stewart is a homecare worker in Philadelphia.

Julia Ticona (University of Pennsylvania) Email

Julia Ticona is an Assistant Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, where her research investigates the ways that digital communication technologies shape the meaning and dignity of precarious work. She uses qualitative methods to examine the role of mobile phones, algorithmic labor platforms, and data-intensive management systems in the construction of identity and inequality for low-wage workers. She also collaborated on an amicus brief on behalf of Data & Society for Carpenter vs. U.S. before the U.S. Supreme Court. Her book, about the “digital hustles” of high and low-status freelancers in the gig economy, is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Previously, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Data & Society Research Institute. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Virginia, and her BA from Wellesley CollegeYou can find her work in New Media & Society, Information, Communication, and Society, as well as Wired, FastCompany, and Slate.

LaTonya Trotter (Vanderbilt University) Email

LaTonya J. Trotter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. She is an ethnographer and sociologist of medicine whose work explores the relationship between changes in the organization of medical work and the reproduction of racial, economic, and gender inequality. The empirical terrain of these explorations ranges from intra-professional negotiations between medicine and nursing to organizational shifts in older adult care. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Public Health and Gender & Society. She is currently working on a forthcoming book with Cornell University Press, entitled More than Medicine: Nurse Practitioners and the Problems They Solve for Patients, Health Care Organizations, and the State.

Participating Organizations

Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network

Hand in Hand is a national network of employers of nannies, housecleaners and home attendants, our families and allies, who are grounded in the conviction that dignified and respectful working conditions benefit worker and employer alike. We envision a future where people live in caring communities that recognize all of our interdependence. To get there, we support employers to improve their employment practices, and to collaborate with workers to change cultural norms and public policies that bring dignity and respect to domestic workers and all of our communities.

National Domestic Workers Alliance

The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for the respect, recognition, and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers. The national alliance is powered by over 60 affiliate organizations—plus robust local chapters in Atlanta, Durham, and New York—of over 20,000 nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers for the elderly in 36 cities and 17 states. In 2016, we launched our individual membership, which provides benefits, training and community to domestic workers in the U.S.

​NDWA is winning improved working conditions while building a powerful movement rooted in the human rights and dignity of domestic workers, immigrants, women, and their families by:

– Working with a broad range of groups and individuals—including supporters like you—to change how we value care, women, families, and our communities.

– Developing women of color leaders and investing in grassroots organizations to realize their potential.

– Building powerful state, regional, and national campaigns for concrete change.

Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance

Pennsylvania house cleaners, nannies, and caregivers – are coming together to win better working conditions, dignity, and justice at work. These domestic workers are systematically excluded from basic labor protections and are routinely mistreated when working in other peoples’ homes. Domestic workers – the vast majority of whom are low wage Black and immigrant women – do the work that makes all other work possible by caring for other peoples’ homes, children, and loved ones, yet face low wages, unsafe working conditions, and sexual harassment while doing so. Across the country, workers have won stronger laws, safety, and respect on the job through organizing, developing their leadership, and fighting for justice at work. By uniting, Pennsylvania domestic workers can win respect, recognition, and inclusion in labor protections. Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance is a joint project of Philadelphia Jobs with Justice and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States.

United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania

Home care workers do hard, essential, compassionate work, yet we struggle to pay our rent and put food on the table. The demand for home care in Pennsylvania is exploding but the system doesn’t work for consumers or workers. Families can’t afford to get the care they need and workers can’t afford to provide it. That’s why home care workers and consumers across Pennsylvania are joining together in the United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania to raise up home care! Together, we can build a home care system that works for us all.


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