#MeToo: Equality Salon on July 17th

July 17, 2018

This Equality Salon is free of charge. Please RSVP here as space is limited.

Join the National Woman’s Party on Tuesday, July 17 at 6pm at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument for a conversation on women’s equality in the age of the #MeToo movement.

#MeToo, which began as a campaign to help young women of color who are survivors of sexual abuse, assault, and exploitation, has elevated a national discussion around the disparity between the lived experiences of women and men, challenging individuals and institutions to rethink, unlearn, and uproot deeply ingrained and unbalanced dynamics of sexuality and power. Sunu Chandy, Legal Director of the National Women’s Law Center, Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, Mónica Ramirez, Co-Founder and Board President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, and Indira Henard, Executive Director of the DC Rape Crisis Center, will come together for this Salon to share how #MeToo has impacted public policy, given voice to survivors of sexual violence, and built agency for women at work, in their homes, and in society.

Doors open at 6pm and the discussion will be held from 6:30-7:30pm.

More about the Speakers:

Sunu Chandy, Legal Director of the National Women’s Law Center

Sunu P. Chandy is the Legal Director of the National Women’s Law Center. She oversees the Center’s litigation efforts, providing strategy across the NWLC to create better outcomes for women and girls at school, the workplace, and the healthcare sector.  She also helped to create the Center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity and build the policies and procedures guiding the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. She also provides guidance for the Center’s policy positions towards greater workplace equality. Most recently, Sunu served as the Deputy Director for the Civil Rights Division with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she led civil rights enforcement including in the areas of language access, auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities and sex discrimination cases under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Before that, Sunu was the General Counsel of the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) and in that role oversaw the agency’s legal decisions following civil rights investigations of discrimination in employment, education, housing and public accommodation matters.  Previously, Sunu was a federal attorney with the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for 15 years and litigated cases including based on sexual harassment and other forms of sex discrimination, as well as race, national origin, disability, age and religion based discrimination cases.  At EEOC, Sunu led several outreach and training initiatives including as a member of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAPPI) Regional Working Group.  Sunu began her legal career as a law firm associate representing unions and individual workers in New York City at Gladstein, Reif and Megginniss, LLP.  Sunu earned her B.A. in Peace and Global Studies/Women’s Studies from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston and in 2013, she completed her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from CUNY/Queens College.  Sunu has served on the boards of directors of several organizations including the Audre Lorde Project, the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective and LeGal (the LGBTQ attorneys’ organization in New York). Sunu currently serves on the board of directors for Split This Rock, a national social justice poetry organization.

Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC, which now has more than 30,000 worker members, 500 employer partners, and 23,000 consumer members in a dozen states nationwide. The story of Saru and her co-founder’s work founding ROC has been chronicled in the book The Accidental American. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” section in 2005, named one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” in 2008, was 1010 Wins’ “Newsmaker of the Year” and New York Magazine’s “Influentials” of New York City. She was listed in CNN’s “Top 10 Visionary Women” and recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014, and a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2015. Saru authored Behind the Kitchen Door (Cornell University Press, 2013), a national bestseller, and has appeared on CNN with Soledad O’Brien, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Melissa Harris Perry and UP with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the Today Show, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.  In January 2018, she attended the Golden Globes as the guest of actor Amy Poehler, where she brought widespread attention to the issue of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. Saru was one of eight women activists who attended the Globes as part of the #TimesUp initiative. Her most recent book is Forked: A New Standard for American Dining (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Mónica Ramirez, Co-founder and Board President of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas 

Mónica is dedicated to ending gender based violence in the workplace and achieving gender equity. She has been specifically engaged in direct service and advocacy on behalf of farmworkers, Latinas and immigrant women. Mónica employs a holistic, victim-centered approach to her work and she is an ardent supporter of worker-led movements. She also has a long history promoting women’s leadership and political power, including leading LatinasRepresent, the only national non-partisan initiative focused on increasing Latina representation and participation in public leadership positions.

Mónica created the first legal project in the US focused on addressing sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination against farmworker women in 2003, which was incubated at the Migrant Justice Project of Florida Legal Services. She later scaled this project and founded Esperanza: The Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2006, which she directed for nearly seven years. In addition, she created the award-winning Bandana Project, an art activism project that raises awareness about workplace sexual violence against farmworker women, and she is a co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at monicaramirezDC.

Indira Henard, Executive Director of the DC Rape Crisis Center

Ms. Henard has been with the DC Rape Crisis Center for the last ten years serving in different capacities, lending invaluable experience including leadership roles in fundraising, operations, cultivating relationships and strategic partnerships, as well as coalition building.

Ms. Henard’ s direct service experience in many gender-based violence programs has helped to inform her policy analysis that has led to coordinating public policy initiatives and organizing and planning spaces for survivor led advocacy.  Spanning over 20 years of dedicated service in the violence against women’s movement, Ms. Henard’ s experience exemplifies her expertise in non-profit management, organizational development, education, training, fundraising and public policy.

Ms. Henard has worked nationally and internationally in helping organizations build capacity to respond to the needs of sexual violence in their communities.  Ms. Henard’s high level training and technical assistance provided to local nonprofits, and international NGO’s has resulted in the repositioning of the sexual assault coalition in the District of Columbia, opening the first rape crisis center in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as working with a coalition of international NGOs in developing a mobile app to aid refugee workers who are working with sexual assault victims.

Ms. Henard was awarded the national “Victim Impact Award” from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. In addition, Ms. Henard was most recently inducted into the Chad Yowell Athletic Hall of Fame at her alma mater, Wheaton College in Norton, MA.

Ms. Henard currently sits on the Advisory Board of Women At Risk International Foundation –WARIF located in Lagos, Nigeria.

Ms. Henard has been interviewed by such media outlets as Fox DC, The Complex, AOL, NBC Washington, Washington Post, WHUR Radio, Ventor’s Africa, Business Daily Online, The Root, as well as The Cult.

Ms. Henard holds a Masters of Social Work degree from the National Catholic School of Social Service at the Catholic University of America. Additionally, Ms. Henard has deep ties within the policy sector having served as a Ralph Bunche Institute Fellow at Duke University, a Congressional Truman Fellow on Capitol Hill, and a Charles Hamilton Houston Fellow at Georgetown Law Center. Before joining DCRCC, Ms. Henard served as a Senate Aide for Senator Barack Obama D-IL on Capitol Hill, Capitol Hill, as well as Special Assistant on his Presidential Campaign.