Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-02-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Joan Jones on creating LGBTQ workers center, other endeavors
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2018-10-24

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Labor and social-justice movement advocacy has been Joan Jones' focus throughout her entire adult life; it's the lens through which she started the National LGBTQ Workers Center this past spring.

The National LGBTQ Workers Center is, according to its website, "a space where workers can go to stand up to workplace discrimination and fight for economic justice."

Jones' desire to focus on organizing within her own LGBT community inspired the center's creation, she explained.

"As someone who has felt the sting of surviving our economy as a queer Afro-Mexicana woman, I decided to create the organization that I wish was there for me when I was a young worker—one that could provide organizing support and resources to the many LGBTQ folks struggling in today's economy," said Jones. "Worker centers were originally founded by African American workers in the United States who, due to discrimination, have traditionally been left out of major union organizing efforts. In response to this, they formed worker centers to support and uplift Black workers."

Jones started her advocacy work at the University of California ( UC )-Berkeley, where she led the school's longest-running progressive political party for two years. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science and ethnic studies. Following graduation, Jones took her skills to the Service Employees International Union ( SEIU ) 925 in Seattle, where she was a community organizer for Spanish-speaking workers in the education sector. While there, she also helped found SEIU 925's Organizational Equity and Inclusion Program..

A few years later, Jones moved to Washington, D.C., to take on the role of millennial coordinator for the SEIU. She was also a member of SEIU's national education team. Now Jones runs her own business, Joan Jones Consulting, alongside her work as the founder and board president of the National LGBTQ Workers Center. She serves as the New Leaders Council Chicago board education co-chair and resides in Joliet with her partner Monica.

"Over the last few years, I have been inspired by worker centers across the country who tirelessly organize and represent disenfranchised workers across identities and industries," she explained. "In light of recent Supreme Court cases that have attacked unions and working-class people, the LGBTQ Workers Center fills the need for a space that lifts up LGBTQ folks and gives us access to tools to organize in our workplaces and communities. We are an organization that centers trans people, Black folks and other people of color ( POC ), who are disproportionately impacted by the economic injustices in our society."

A key priority for the organization is to "meet fellow working-class LGBTQ people where they are at and organize around issues that are important to our survival," Jones added.

The center will initially investigate what most pressing economic concerns in the LGBTQ community are, and how they vary geographically; the assistance it provides depends on which state a worker resides in. In Illinois, where LGBTQ workers have legal protections, Jones and her team could help find a pro-bono lawyer. In Indiana, where there are no legal protections, they could rally around the person and get the media involved.

"We provide education, support and structure to the otherwise terrible things we experience that can turn into local, state and national change for the LGBTQ community," said Jones. "This includes spreading awareness of what America's LGBTQ working class population looks like, and bringing LGBTQ people to the ballot box and streets to flex their power."

Currently, there are seven other people in leadership at the National LGBTQ Workers Center. Among those are board members Andrea Hart and Denechia Powell.

"I joined the board because of personal experiences and those of my community," said Hart. "I believe we need to have a space that centers LGBTQ workers, especially queer and trans POCs, if we are really going to improve rights and conditions for all workers. Oftentimes the national conversation on justice in the workplace focuses on more privileged workers in big cities. The lens we are using to organize and empower workers I think can benefit everyone."

"I got involved because I am fed up with being exploited in the workplace because of my identities as a working-class Black queer non-binary person," said Powell. "I am tired of my Black trans, non-binary and queer friends and I being chronically unemployed and underemployed despite our myriad skills and talents. I joined the board to become more proactive in building an economy that actually works for me and the people I love."

Recently, Jones worked with the Movement Advancement Project ( MAP ) to co-author a report, "LGBT People in the Workplace: Demographics, Experiences and Pathways to Equity." The report is, according to Jones, designed for funders and others not impacted by these issues so they can understand the obstacles LGBTQ people face in the workplace and the need for an organization like the National LGBTQ Workers Center.

See www.lgbtqworkerscenter.org/ for more information and/or to make a donation.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Arts alliance honoring Evette Cardona, others 2019-02-20 - Lesbian activist Evette Cardona will be one of three individuals who will receive the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance's Felisa Rincon de Gautier Distinguished ...


Gay News

Sporting Life, Kayla Cormier 2019-02-19 - Kayla Cormier is part of the reigning, three-time Spirit Champions kickball team through the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association ( CMSA ). Her ...


Gay News

Sharon Bottoms Mattes, known for '90s child-custody case, dies at 48 2019-02-18 - Sharon Bottoms Mattes—a central figure in a closely watched 1990s LGBT-related child-custody case—has died at 48, according to The Washington Post. Mattes ended ...


Gay News

Before Stonewall, The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community restoration out in June 2019-02-13 - ( February 14, 2019 ) — First Run Features is proud to announce the theatrical re-release of the legendary documentary Before Stonewall: The ...


Gay News

ELECTION 2019, 47th WARD. Angie Maloney on hopes for aldermanic post 2019-02-13 - Educator Angie Maloney, who is one of several openly LGBT candidates running in the Feb. 26 citywide elections, hopes to win the 47th ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019, 33RD WARD. Lesbian alderperson Deb Mell talks feats, LGBT issues 2019-02-13 - Deb Mell has been the 33rd Ward alderman since 2013 and previously served in the Illinois General Assembly as a representative for the ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL How to celebrate Valentine's Day 2019-02-13 - Valentine's Day is one of those do-it-yourself celebrations. There are no parades or feasts or family gatherings. When I was single, I ...


Gay News

Patricia Nell Warren, author of first gay novel on NYT Best Seller List, dies 2019-02-12 - LOS ANGELES - Patricia Nell Warren, age 82, died on Saturday February 9th at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California after ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Writer Patricia Nell Warren dies at 82 2019-02-11 - Best-selling novelist Patricia Nell Warren has died at 82, several outlets reported. Warren's 1974 novel, The Front Runner, told the story of an ...


Gay News

Business workshop held on being an ally of trans, GNC people 2019-02-11 - Andersonville Chamber of Commerce ( ACC ), Praxis Group and Upswing Advocates hosted "Being a Stronger Ally: Trans and GNC Affirming Business Workshop," ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.