Examining Racial and Gender Bias: Case studies from the Restaurant, Retail, Domestic and Tech Industries

Examining Racial and Gender Bias: Case studies from the Restaurant, Retail, Domestic and Tech Industries

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Saturday, Jul. 18 11:30 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Jul. 18 12:45 PM (Eastern)

Despite efforts to create equal employment opportunities for women and people of color, the distribution of jobs remains unequal and biased. Racial and gender bias can exclude workers from a job or segregate them into particular kinds of jobs. These unfair results are often a direct result of implicit racial and gender bias, not a natural consequence or a necessary by-product of capitalism. Whether groups are concentrated in low-wage jobs or excluded altogether, solutions lie in addressing racial and gender bias with new policies and practices. Join us for a panel discussion on racial and gender bias in restaurant, domestic and retail industries, as well as the associated harms and possible solutions. We’ll also address the racial and gender bias in the tech industry and the mistaken belief that the “pipeline” is solely to blame.


Rinku Sen


Rinku Sen is the President and Executive Director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation and the Publisher of the award-winning news site Colorlines. Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity through research, media, and practice.

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Celeste Faison

Celeste is the Black Organizing Coordinator at National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-founder of the Blackout Collective. A seasoned organizer, she cut her teeth as a youth organizer in 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement and served as lead organizer at Youth Together. An organizing strategist, Celeste served as assistant director of the League of young voters, training thousands of young people in new electoral organizing strategies that infused community organizing. Many of those methods were adopted by the Democratic party in 2008. During her time as a director of the Ruckus Society, Celeste fell in love with direct action. In 2014 she co-founded the Blackout Collective, an all Black direct action collective that assisted with shutting down the Bart and the topless #SayHerName action. She spends her free time traveling the country developing Black people as direct action trainers and strategist.

Ariel Jacobson

Ariel Jacobson is Development & Communications Director at the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, a national organization with close to 14,000 restaurant worker members, 150 employer partners, and several thousand consumer members in over 30 cities nationwide. ROC United builds power and voice for restaurant workers using a tri-pronged model that includes workplace justice organizing, promoting the “high road” to profitability, and participatory research and policy work. Jacobson has worked with organizations focused on grassroots community development, the rights of women and Indigenous Peoples, and youth leadership development.

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Dolly Martinez


Dolly Martinez is the campaign organizer with the Retail Action Project, She started as a member and is the lead organizer in the Zara campaign. RAP is an organization of retail workers dedicated to improving opportunities and standards in the retail industry. As a Brooklyn native Dolly is also an artist who uses her art to deliver empowering messages to her peers and the community. In partnership with RAP, Dolly successfully organized the Utrecht/Blick art supply store where she worked and now the store’s workers are in contract negotiations. Dolly is also on the committee board for Queer survival Economies and the young workers group and has spoken in major events such as NextUp Young Workers Summit, at Debt-free collage conferences and Netroots Nation. Dolly looks forward to organizing many more stores and fighting for improved working conditions across the retail industry.

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Deanna Zandt


Deanna Zandt is a media technologist, the co-founder of and partner at Lux Digital, and the author of Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking (Berrett-Koehler 2010). She is a consultant to key media and advocacy organizations, and her clients have included The Ford Foundation, Deutsche Telekom, Planned Parenthood, and Jim Hightower’s Hightower Lowdown. Zandt has advised the White House on digital strategy and public engagement; she has been a regular contributor to Forbes.com, as well as NPR’s flagship news program, “All Things Considered.” Zandt specializes in emerging media, is a leading expert in women and technology, and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN International, BBC Radio, Fox News and more.

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