Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Thursday, Jul. 11 2:30 PM
Ends: Thursday, Jul. 11 3:30 PM
“Start in the workplace and the politics will follow.” When working people feel empowered at work, they are empowered in our democracy as well. As bold visions like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal galvanize our politics, could a general strike be the vision we need to rally working people around a shared vision of what our economy and democracy can be? High-profile strikes have made headlines in recent years, but for millions of Americans the idea of workplace action is a radical departure. In the age of the internet, with labor resurgent and working people looking for a fair shake, could we pull off something we’ve never done before in the United States?
Kim Kelly is a freelance writer and organizer based in Philadelphia. She is currently the labor columnist for Teen Vogue, and her writings on labor, politics, and culture have appeared in the New Republic, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Pacific Standard, and many others. She is a proud member of and councilperson for the Writers Guild of America, East, and has been active in multiple organizing and contract campaigns (including serving as a worker-organizer for the VICE Union) since 2015.
Jess Kutch is the co-founder of Coworker.org, a platform for people to advance solutions in the workplace. Since its founding in 2013, Coworker.org has catalyzed the growth of global, independent employee networks advancing wins like paid parental leave benefits at Netflix, scheduling reform at Starbucks, and wage increases for workers at a Southern restaurant chain. In 2015, Coworker.org hosted the first-ever digital townhall at the White House on the future of worker voice with President Obama.
A digital innovator, Jess has 15 years’ experience working at the intersection of technology and social change. Prior to launching Coworker.org, Jess lead a team at Change.org in raising the company’s profile around the world and inspiring hundreds of thousands of people to launch and lead their own efforts on the platform. Jess also spent five years at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) where she pioneered digital strategies for the labor movement. Jess is a 2019 TED Fellow, Aspen Institute Job Quality Fellow, Echoing Green Global Fellow, and J.M. Kaplan Innovation Prize winner.