Hand in Hand is a national network of employers of nannies, housecleaners and home attendants, our families and allies, who are grounded in the conviction that dignified and respectful working conditions benefit worker and employer alike. We envision a future where people live in caring communities that recognize all of our interdependence. To get there, we support employers to improve their employment practices, and to collaborate with workers to change cultural norms and public policies that bring dignity and respect to domestic workers and all of our communities.
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Ilana Berger, Interim Director
Ilana brings to Hand in Hand rich experience in base-building, leadership development, and policy advocacy, as well as her perspective as a parent and employer of childcare providers. She has worked in community-based organizations in New York, Miami, and San Francisco, including ten years as co-founder and Executive Director of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE). She has also worked at the national level with Caring Across Generations, the New Bottom Line and the Center for Popular Democracy.
Elspeth Gilmore, Director of Development
A longtime organizer, donor organizer and donor, Elspeth brings a unique perspective to the resourcing of social justice movements. Before joining Hand in Hand Elspeth worked at the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United organizing restaurant goers to leverage their consumer power for restaurant worker rights. Before that she served as the Program and then Executive Director of Resource Generation, organizing young people with wealth to use their resources and access for social justice. Elspeth’s father was cared for by a home attendant, her family employed a housecleaner, and she was cared for by a childcare provider – all very personal reasons why she is committed to building a system of care that benefits us all. Elspeth lives in New York City.
Lindsay Imai, Bay Area Organizer
Lindsay is the mother of two boys and has depended upon the assistance of a nanny to raise and care for her children. Because of this help, Lindsay has been able to continue to do the work she loves. Before joining Hand in Hand, Lindsay spent six years at Urban Habitat, a regional environmental justice organization, working in partnership with bus riders, community organizations, senior groups and disability rights activists to improve the affordability and reliability of bus service in the Bay Area’s low-income communities. Lindsay has also worked on issues of affordable housing, community reinvestment, and parent-led school reform.
Carolyn Silveira, Director of Communications & Digital Strategy
Carolyn is a writer and consultant who loves using creative strategies to help change the world. She has worked for Freelancers Union, Upworthy, The Adaptors (a podcast about science and climate change), and numerous mission-driven clients. A native Californian, she grows poppies in her community garden in Brooklyn to remind her of home.
Tatiana Bejar, Electoral Engagement Organizer
Tatiana is a human rights advocate and a very passionate activist on labor, immigrants and women rights. Tatiana has experience in the non-profit and development sectors in Peru and the United States, with a particularly focus on low-income women and immigrant workers and engaging grassroots groups in various UN human rights mechanisms to address inequalities in the United States, and has worked in labor programs in the development sector in Peru. Tatiana holds a Master in Criminal Justice (John Jay College) and a Bachelor Degree in Sociology (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru).
National Steering Committee
Amy Mazur: In her work with the New England Jewish Labor Committee on the domestic employer initiative, Amy Mazur seeks to support domestic workers, and focus on ensuring that all our homes are places where domestic workers are treated with dignity and respect, where domestic workers (no matter their immigration status) are seen as professionals and valued as workers with competence and skill, and where the Massachusetts Domestic Worker Bill of Rights is put into practice fairly and appropriately. The NEJLC is an organization with the mission to engage the Jewish community in support of issues affecting working people, and engage the labor community in issues that affect Jews and the Jewish community. The Jewish Labor Committee is also a supporting member of the Massachusetts Coalition of Domestic Workers, a coalition of organizations that supports change and equals rights for domestic workers.
Aquilina Soriano Versoza is a founder and current Executive Director of the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, a nonprofit serving and organizing the low-wage Pilipino immigrant community in Los Angeles. She has served as Executive Director of PWC for 17 years and has been working in the Pilipino community for 22 years, both here in Los Angeles and in the Philippines. She has been at the head of PWC as it has been a part of the growing statewide and national movement of domestic workers. She studied her BA in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. A mother of two, she sees her work for social justice as a life long endeavor that she hopes to pass on to her daughters. Aquilina is also serving on the Board of Mission Asset Fund and as the current President of the Board of Directors of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Ariana Thompson-Lastad was a founding member of Hand in Hand in California, where she organizes employers of nannies and house cleaners and facilitates workshops for new parents. Outside of Hand in Hand, she has a PhD in medical sociology and is a postdoctoral fellow at UC San Francisco, where she does research on improving health care for low-income people and immigrants in the US. Ariana is the mother of two young children, and is a grateful, intermittent nanny employer.
Janet Kim is a communications strategist with a diverse background in consulting, media, campaigning, and storytelling. As the Communications Director for Caring Across Generations, she’s working to shape narratives to make dignified care a right at every stage of life while making the work of caregiving, and the paid and unpaid caregivers who do it, more visible and valued – grounded in racial, gender and economic justice. Before Caring Across Generations, Janet produced radio segments for WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, taught storytelling workshops for The Moth, and consulted for private and nonprofit organizations, including the Freelancers Union, Citigroup, and the YMCA.
Jessica James has a vast range of experience and expertise within the non-profit and corporate social responsibility space, having raised funds for Safe Horizon, Inwood House, Young Women’s Leadership Network and Grace Institute, in addition to the Obama for America Tri-State Finance Office in 2008. Jessica has a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California. Jessica launched Jessica James Consulting in 2016 to support companies in the exploration and execution of meaningful philanthropic partnerships that recruit and retain talent, build culture, tell the brand’s story, drive the bottom line, and make the most possible impact in the community. Current corporate consulting clients including Blackstone, Finance of America, SoulCycle, and Port Authority, and nonprofit clients include nsoro Foundation, PepUp Tech, and UNICEF. Jessica is a featured speaker at Columbia University, Support Center for Non-Profit Management, Non-Profit Coordinating Committee, and SXSW 2018. She lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and son.
Laura Wernick, PhD, LMSW, MPA is a professor of social work at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service. A former community organizer, their research explores and examines innovative transformative and healing justice organizing models. Laura is a parent, an employer of a childcare worker, and has been actively involved in HIH’s participatory action research project.
Mariana Viturro has been NDWA’s Deputy Director for over seven years. Prior to joining NDWA, Mariana was an organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 12 years, and experienced first-hand the potential of working-class immigrant women and women of color to advance movements for immigrant and workers’ rights. At NDWA, Mariana oversees our field and organizing work, supervising senior staff, and Board development and management.
Naomi Sunshine has represented workers and others in wage and hour, employment discrimination, consumer and disability class actions through workers’ rights law firms. During law school she participated in NYU’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, and interned at the ACLU, the NYCLU, the Urban Justice Center, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Immigration Equality.
Nikki Brown-Booker is a member leader of Hand in Hand the Domestic Employers Network and believes that all workers deserve a dignified workplace including workers that work in the home. As a person with a disability I have been employing personal care attendants since 18 years old when I moved away from home to attend UC Davis. I moved to the Oakland to attend graduate school at JFK University and have a Masters in clinical psychology I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. I am currently the Executive Director of Easy Does It Emergency Services a nonprofit that provides emergency attendant care, wheelchair repair and transportation for people with disabilities and seniors in Berkeley. I am strongly connected to disability justice, labor and immigrant rights movements. My mother is a Filipino immigrant and former domestic worker. My father was a professional chef and was an active member the SEIU union. I am the youngest of eight and am close with my family.
Rachel McCullough is the Director of Organizing at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice and Campaign Director of the New York Caring Majority. In her capacity as Director of Organizing at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), Rachel has built numerous campaigns and coalitions focused on police accountability, dignity for care work & caregiving, and community safety.She was a leader in the historic campaign for the New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and has been thrilled to help develop the field strategy for Caring Across Generations since its launch in 2011. She serves on the steering committee of Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network and is an author of the 2014 report The Eldercare Dialogues: A Grassroots to Transform Long-term Care. She is the Campaign Director of the New York Caring Majority, an unprecedented coalition of seniors, family caregivers, people with disabilities, and home care workers fighting for a more caring economy in New York State.
Sascha Bittner has been an employer leader at the San Francisco Bay Area Hand in Hand since 2011, and is a representative on her local Care Council. She is quadriplegic as a result of cerebral palsy, and domestic workers make it possible for her to be an active member of the Bay Area community. Sascha also currently serves as chair of the Regional Advisory committee on Developmental Disabilities, and is a past chair of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. She is a delegate to the California Democratic Party and a member of its Disability Caucus. In addition, Sascha has conducted disability awareness workshops for thousands of students in the Bay Area with KIDS (Keys to Introducing Disability in Society) Project. Sascha has been a disability rights activist for over 25 years, and has served on numerous disability-related committees and boards. She is committed to the mission of creating fair, equitable conditions for both domestic workers and those who rely on their services.
Violeta Gomez-Uribe: At age 3 when she migrated from Mexico with her family, Violeta became a Brooklynite, establishing her life in Sunset Park. As a teen she spent her time volunteering at multiple community-based organizations teaching English and literacy to adults. She has used her struggles as an undocumented person and currently as a DACA recipient to motivate others to obtain higher education. Proud of her heritage, she has participated in summer programs that teach kids ages 3 to 10 Spanish and Mexican History. While at Hunter College she served as the treasurer to the Hunter College Dream Team where she brought attention to the issues affecting undocumented students while making sure students had access to a safe space to voice their fears and needs. At present, when she is not working for the City of New York she still follows her passion of empowering immigrants to raise their quality of life. Recently she is utilizing her experiences as the daughter of a domestic worker to create interdependence as a lead member of Hand in Hand a national network of employers of nannies, housecleaners and home attendants collaborating for a dignified and respectful working conditions that benefit the employer and worker a like. Violeta studied Business Administration at Borough Of Manhattan Community College, Finance and Accounting at Hunter College and at the moment she is studying Public Administration and Policy at the CUNY Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies. She spends her leisure time punching and kicking at kickboxing class or cooking a delicious meal.
Hand in Hand was founded in 2010 by a group of domestic employers and their allies who had worked side by side with domestic workers to support the passage of the New York State Domestic Worker Bill of Rights.
These community members reflected that one aspect of what made the NY campaign so meaningful was the participation of Jewish employers who had been organized with Jews for Racial & Economic Justice. Hand in Hand was founded in partnership with the National Domestic Workers Alliance to connect with domestic employers beyond the Jewish community in NY and nationwide.
From a small, volunteer-led organization, Hand in Hand has grown into an organization with a staff, a strong national leadership, and growing influence and reach in New York, California, and beyond. Check out where we’ve come from, and where we’re going in our Working Hand in Hand newsletters below:
2015 newsletter [PDF]
2014 newsletter [PDF]
2013 newsletter [PDF]
2012 newsletter [PDF]
2011 newsletter [PDF]
In the News
For press inquiries, please contact Carolyn Silveira: carolyn [at] domesticemployers [dot] org. Click here to see highlights from Hand in Hand’s media coverage to date.
And mail to: Hand in Hand, 1204 Broadway, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10001