Linda Burnham brings decades of experience as an activist, writer, strategist, and organizational consultant focused on women’s rights and anti-racism. She feels a particular connection with domestic workers, as many of the women in her family who moved here from Barbados did this work as new immigrants. Before coming on as the National Research Coordinator, she provided organizational consulting to Domestic Workers United and facilitated the Gender Justice from the Grassroots Inter-Alliance Dialogue gathering in March 2010.
Linda Burnham is co-founder of the Women of Color Resource Center (WCRC) and was its Executive Director for 18 years. WCRC was a non-profit education, community action and resource center committed to developing a strong, institutional foundation for social change activism by and on behalf of women of color. Burnham has been working on racial justice and peace issues since the 1960s and on women-of-color issues since the early 1970s. She was a leader in the Third World Women’s Alliance, a national organization that was an early advocate for the rights of women of color. In 1990, together with Miriam Ching Louie, she co-founded Women of Color Resource Center. Burnham has published numerous articles on African-American women, African-American politics, and feminist theory in a wide range of periodicals and anthologies. A particular focus of her writing, organizing and advocacy work has been the impact of welfare policy and the lives of low- and no-income women and their families. Burnham led delegations of women of color to the 1985 UN World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya and the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. In 2001 she led a delegation of 25 women of color activists and scholars to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. In 2004, Burnham was a leader of Count Every Vote, a human rights project that trained citizens to monitor the polls for the presidential election in the southern states. In 2005, Burnham was nominated as one of 1000 Peace Women for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2008, she was awarded the Twink Frey Social Activist Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2009, she edited the anthology, Changing the Race: Racial Politics and the Election of Barack Obama. Burnham is a frequent featured speaker on college campuses and to community groups, addressing issues of women’s rights, racial justice, human rights and peace.
In her consulting practice, Burnham focuses on working with social justice organizations that are committed to intentionally and systematically integrating racial justice and gender justice frameworks and values into organizing, advocacy and communications. Burnham’s writing and organizing are part of a lifelong inquiry into the dynamic, often perilous intersections of race, class and gender. Burnham has practiced and taught yoga for decades and is also an avid student of African and African diasporic dance.