Rose Bookbinder (Pronouns: She/her/hers)
Rose is a founding organizer of the Pioneer Valley Workers’ Center in Northampton, MA, where she also works. She began her career fighting for workers’ rights in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley of NY, working with day laborers in the construction and agricultural sectors.
As a lead organizer for the United Auto Workers, she worked with casino dealers and in higher education; with AFSCME (the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), she worked with food service employees.
Rose currently serves as the Recording Secretary for the Hampshire Franklin Central Labor Council and on the Board of Directors for the Food Chain Workers Alliance.
Rose is excited to be a part of a transformative organization that is working towards systemic change in Massachusetts. Sí Se Puede!
Alicia Fleming (Pronouns: She/her/hers)
Alicia was born and raised in Western Massachusetts, where she has lived all of her life. She attended college in the Berkshires where she studied English/Communications, and has since spent many years working in both the manufacturing and food service industries.
Alicia grew up in a family of political aficionados, with a family history interwoven with government and social activism.
As a multiracial woman, Alicia has always been drawn to issues of social justice, civil rights, and inequality. As a single and working mother, she is a passionate advocate for making politics and activism more inclusive for parents, and is devoted to improving the lives of people who struggle to make ends meet. Alicia has been pursuing these goals by bringing her voice and vigor to numerous progressive organizations and endeavors. She has become a fixture of the social justice activism scene throughout Western Massachusetts, and her passion for equity is obvious everywhere she goes.
Yessenia Prodero (Pronouns: She/her/hers)
Lead Organizer, Massachusetts Interfaith Worker Justice
Yessenia is a native of Brighton, MA and a daughter of Colombian immigrants. She is the lead organizer for Massachusetts Interfaith Workers Justice (MIWJ), an affiliate of the national Interfaith Worker Justice network, and local sister organization and partner of Mass JwJ. MIWJ works with diverse communities of faith to activate and develop leaders to defend and promote workers’ rights.
Yessenia has a Masters in International Human Rights from the University of Denver. As a student, she began her work as an immigrant and labor rights organizer. She conducted research in the field to investigate, understand, and combat wage theft in the metro Denver area. Additionally, was part of the Wage Theft Direct Action Team, a group of workers and volunteers organizing to fight for just wages in the community. She used direct action tactics to negotiate and pressure unscrupulous employers to pay stolen wages to workers.
Kimberly Villafuerte Barzola (Pronouns: She/her/hers)
Kim was born and raised in Salem, MA and is a proud graduate of the Salem Public Schools system. In 2017, she graduated from Boston University where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Food and Agrarian Studies. While at Boston University, she helped lead up the Sanctuary Campus initiative, participated in the divestment from fossil fuels movement, and was a student volunteer with Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism. Her background as the daughter of Quechua Peruvian immigrants has influenced her cultural work as a printmaker, muralist, and with native language revitalization efforts in her family’s native community in Peru. Prior to joining Jobs with Justice, Kim worked as the Bilingual Organizer with Citizens for Farm Animal Protection which successfully won their Yes on 3 ballot campaign in 2017 ensuring humane farming practices in Massachusetts. Kim speaks Spanish, and English and is actively developing her language skills in Huanca Quechua and Arabic.
Lily Huang (Pronouns: She/her/hers)
Co-Director Lily is a native of Boston's Chinatown and Quincy, Massachusetts. Her commitment to social justice was formed early, as a child of immigrant parents and low-wage workers in the local restaurant, hotel, and health care industries. She studied Political Geography at Vassar College and spent two years abroad at the US-Mexico borderland where she deepened her passion for migrant justice.
For three years, Lily was a volunteer organizer with the Student Immigrant Movement (SIM), recruiting and developing immigrant youth leaders across the state. In the summers of 2010 and 2011, Lily led two-week vigils in front of the MA State House against proposed anti-immigrant amendments. She also built a coalition of more than 40 community organizations for the DREAM Act.
Lily joined Mass JwJ as an Organizer in 2012. She helped the organization expand its geographic reach and develop educators, parents, and students into movement leaders. When Holyoke schools were being taken over by the state, Lily trained public high school students in organizing skills and political education in order to take action. Along with educators of color and immigrant parents and students, Lily led a winning campaign to implement bilingual education in Spanish and Portuguese for newcomers in Framingham's Fuller Middle School. In 2016, Lily played a key role in the "No on Question 2" victory to stop the charter school industry's privatization agenda in Massachusetts.
Lily is on the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA) steering committee. She has deep organizing experience in the cities of Boston, Framingham, New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Worcester, and Fitchburg. Lily speaks Spanish, Toisanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and English.
Gillian Mason (Pronouns: She/her/hers)
Gillian is a native of North Plainfield, New Jersey. Prior to joining Mass JwJ, Gillian was the coordinator of MoveOn.org’s Boston Council and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Jamaica Plain Forum. Before devoting herself full-time to organizing, she was an adjunct professor of English, Women’s Studies, and American Literature and Culture for ten years, teaching at Suffolk University, Boston University, and UMass Boston. She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University. As a student, she served as president of the Graduate Student Organization at BU, leading successful campaigns for basic worker protections and benefits for graduate student employees. As a contingent faculty member, Gillian was a member of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association at UMass and served on the steering committee of the American Association of University Professors at Suffolk University.
Gillian currently sits on the Executive Board of the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts, the Board of Directors for the Student Immigrant Movement, the steering committee of the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, and the advisory boards of the Women’s Institute for Leadership Development and the Boston University Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Activism.
Gillian reps Mass JwJ on the Raise Up Massachusetts Steering Committee.
Edwin Argueta (Pronouns: He/him/his)
Edwin is a Salvadoran immigrant. He works primarily in the North Shore region on Raise Up Massachusetts and workers’ rights. He has been active for many years in the immigrant rights and organized labor movement as a service provider, advocate, and organizer.
Along with many other African American, Asian, and immigrant organizers, Edwin has been an activist in the struggle to bring change around issues that affect communities of color in Greater Boston; particularly education reform, economic justice, and political empowerment. He is a leader in the immigrant rights and organized labor movements in Massachusetts and the New England region, and currently works to provide strategic support for statewide immigrant workers’ rights initiatives and campaigns, as well as just and humane immigration reform at the national level.
Edwin is a board member of One Everett, United for a Fair Economy, and La Comunidad, Inc.
Edwin is currently on extended medical leave. We miss him and wish him a full and speedy recovery. If you would like to donate to Edwin’s healing fund, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/GivetoEdwinsHealingFund