Dorothy Bolden is the unsung mother of the domestic worker movement. As a Black house cleaner and civil rights leader, she organized over 10,000 workers through the National Domestic Workers Union in the US South in the 1960s and fought for better working conditions at the height of the civil rights movement. We stand on her shoulders and recognize that without her leadership, all domestic workers, particularly Black women, would face even more exploitation and racist exclusions from labor protections.
This week marks the week that movement ancestor Dorothy Bolden was born, and we will celebrate her legacy and visionary leadership, and that of so many others, that built the foundation for domestic worker organizing today. See below for ways to get involved on celebrate!
Philly domestic workers, with support from Councilmember Kendra Brooks and nine additional co-sponsors, have made history by winning a unanimous City Council vote to make October 13 the official Dorothy Bolden Day in Philadelphia.
Led by We Dream in Black PA Chapter members, we gathered over 600 signatures of primarily Philly domestic workers, met with City Councilmembers, and organized hard to win this important official day in Philadelphia to recognize the critical role domestic workers play in this city.
The fight for recognition and respect for domestic workers in Philadelphia is far from over. One of the most important ways you can support nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers is learning and following the labor protections that we won under the unprecedented Philadelphia Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance invites you to join us for Making History, a celebration of domestic worker organizing, past and present. Our event features the premiere screening of the new short documentary film Demanding Justice: A History of Domestic Workers; launch of the first ever digital timeline of domestic worker history; and the unveiling of a series of original portraits of domestic worker “movement ancestors.”
Come be inspired by the domestic worker movement of the past, and hear from domestic worker leaders who are making history and transforming this work today.
On October 16th, 2021 a four-part mural tour series will launch in Atlanta, Georgia celebrating Dorothy Bolden. The murals span four buildings — in a five-mile radius within or close to Vine City — that tell different parts of Dorothy Bolden’s story. We honor her contribution to the civil rights movement, her voter registration efforts and her leadership in the fight for domestic worker dignity and rights.