Handle with Care Treating Domestic Workers and Caregivers as Essential

The coronavirus crisis has revealed the centrality of domestic and caregiving work to our economic and social system. Deindustrialization has shifted most jobs to the service sector, a sizable portion of which are domestic and care work. Also, the introduction of women into fields of the economy which were typically occupied by men has outsourced their previous roles, such as child-rearing and home-making, to domestic and care laborers. These are workers who reproduce the next generation of workers, doctors, teachers, politicians, and role models, while also, in the case of eldercare workers, caring after previous generations.

While we may understand the importance of these workers in an abstract sense, the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus has cast into clear view the brutal reality of this fact. It has also cast into stark relief the poor treatment and inadequate benefits our system of government affords these workers. Not only are they ill-equipped to continue safely working during this crisis, they are expected to take existential risks without hazard pay, or an increase in other health and subsistence benefits. How our government chooses to treat our essential workers is a litmus test for how they will treat the rest of us; do they consider us worthy of compensation and investment, or not? In this webinar discover how they are fighting for increased attention and care during this time, and what they consider to be the state-of-play moving forward, both for them and for the broader public who so heavily relies on their work.

As Culture Change Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Kristina leverages the power of culture to change perceptions and behaviors related to and impacting domestic workers and the communities that comprise the sector including women of color and immigrants. Kristina develops opportunities to drive and amplify our culture change goals and strategies by coordinating the development of unique content, through partnerships with creatives across mediums, and by spearheading cultural organizing campaigns. Kristina led NDWA’s award winning Roma social impact campaign alongside Participant.

Kristina has over 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry as an actress. Before moving into the culture change field, she worked in communications and fundraising at several domestic and international nonprofits. Kristina was a regional field organizer with Organizing for America, President Obama’s grassroots re-election team in 2012. She is on the advisory board of Komera, a nonprofit in Rwanda that empowers girls through education, community and sport. Kristina is on the Coordinating Committee of Storyline Partners, a collective of non-profit organizations that collaborates with the entertainment industry to seed new narratives in television and film. Kristina graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science.

Ishita Srivastava is a cultural strategist and producer for Caring Across Generations who believes in the power of storytelling and pop culture to move hearts and minds and transform social norms to create lasting social change. With 9 years of experience working at the intersection of social change movements, media, and pop culture, Ishita came to lead the culture change strategy work at Caring Across Generations in 2017. She previously worked at Breakthrough, a global human rights organization where she produced digital campaigns and projects spotlighting immigrant rights, racial justice, and gender justice, most notably THE G WORD, an interactive storytelling platform about people’s personal stories about gender norms and gender-based violence. In producing innovative projects that inspire and move people, she has brokered and managed partnerships with multiple organizations, in the U.S. and internationally, as well as artists, storytellers, and strategists from the worlds of advertising and entertainment.

Born and raised in New Delhi, she holds a BA in English literature from St. Stephens College, a BA in media and communications from Goldsmiths College, and an MA in cinema studies and culture and media from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her documentary film, Desigirls, examines the intersection of gender, sexuality and immigrant culture as it follows two women as they negotiate their varied and often fraught experiences as queer Indian women in New York City. Ishita, famously, does not like sweets.

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