Since completing her fellowship with BKF Mentor Esta Soler, Lisa Kim has continued her work at Futures Without Violence (FUTURES) coordinating a project that addresses the impact of gender-based violence in workplaces for low-wage workers. While all individuals are at risk of violence, workers in low-wage industries – retail, hotels, restaurants, farms – may be especially vulnerable. This is in part because they are more likely to be working in isolation (like housekeepers) or because their workplaces are accessible to the public (like restaurant workers); both situations increase workers’ chances of being threatened, stalked, or assaulted.
Lisa has been part of the FUTURES team that launched three pilot sites that have tested strategies for effectively preventing and responding to domestic and sexual violence impacting the workplace. These strategies include developing an employer policy, creating culturally-responsive and industry-specific trainings for workers, and capacity-building training for employers, workers’ advocates, and service providers.
With new funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, FUTURES is launching additional sites, including one based in California focusing on safety for janitor workers. FUTURES has partnered with SEIU United Service Workers West, which represents more than 40,000 janitors and other property service workers across California, and a coalition of other advocates in the anti-violence and labor rights’ field to support a worker-centered movement to protect janitors from sexual violence and other abuses on the job. Last year, a new law was passed that requires a mandatory sexual harassment prevention training be in place by 2019. FUTURES, as part of this cross-sectoral coalition, has the exciting opportunity to help develop this training so that it is industry-specific, culturally-relevant, and delivered with effective adult learning methodologies. We hope that this law and the protections it establishes will catalyze a profound shift in an industry that has been rife with violence, abuse, and impunity.
To learn more about the project, visit www.workplacesrespond.org.
To learn more about Lisa, her BKF Mentor, Esta Soler, and the work accomplished together, please visit: https://bkfellowships.org/profiles/#estalisa.