Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Atlanta Chapter Meets with U.S. DOL Director of Women's Bureau

Yesterday, Atlanta staff as well as 9to5 member Marilynn Winn had the chance to attend a roundtable discussion with Sara Manzano Diaz, the newly appointed Director of the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor. In attendance were the directors and members of dozens of Atlanta and Georgia based organizations all who share the primary focus of promoting the welfare of women and girls in our state. Ms. Manzano Diaz told her personal story of growing up in the Bronx as a child of Puerto Rican immigrants, and the formative experience of gaining the opportunity to move into public housing after living with her entire family in single room occupancy housing.

The discussion revolved around finding concrete ways that Ms. Manzano can move her national agenda of promoting pay equity and work/life balance policies including the Healthy Families Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, advancing women into higher paying and non-traditional jobs, and supporting the needs of women veterans.

Marilynn Winn reflects on the meeting and what it meant to her to be a part of a group of women working to help other women:

Today I had the opportunity to meet Sara Manzano Diaz, Director of the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau, along with many other powerful leading women who head many different organizations in Atlanta, and across Georgia. These women's goals are to help low-income women and families get out of poverty, and to educate, find resources, and encourage them to speak up and speak out about the problems that keep them bound in a life of poverty.

Being raised in poverty and still living in poverty now has given me the passion, courage, and drive to advocate for families like the family I came from. Every confererence and meeting I attend with these women working for change lets me know that help is out there, and if not it's is being talked about and planned. I have learned no matter where I came from, with the help of others, I can always do better. With each woman that spoke about what her organization offers I learned more about the tools to help myself rise out of poverty.

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