Jahn, a second generation immigrant, half Chinese, half Ecuadorian has a fine arts from University of California Berkeley
Jahn, a second generation immigrant, half Chinese and half Ecuadorian has an interesting background having finished her undergraduate studies in fine art at the University of California Berkeley, she graduated and showed support for other artists by showcasing their art at a non-profit gallery.
During her college years she also worked as a care-giver which gave her more insight into this issue. She went to grad school at MIT and began to work as an advocate for low-wage workers & immigrant groups. Now being able to use her art and advocacy skills to bridge cultural and socio-economic gaps, she knew she wanted to make a change and reach people directly at the ground level, serving people and helping to impact their lives.
Her goals shifted to making art & media that was more accessible to the people she truly cares about, people who probably wouldn’t be traditionally attending an art gallery or maybe even a museum.
These were the things that drove her to help strengthen the socio-economic justice of the most vulnerable and create art with street vendors, migrant workers, domestic workers, new immigrants and youth.
Jahn has been more embedded in the movement of advocacy for domestic workers
As Jahn has been more embedded in the movement of advocacy for domestic workers, she is proud of workers’ bravery in sharing their own stories to help bring about new legislation and reform.
She cites a couple of ground breaking benchmarks. For example, since 2010, 7 states have passed their own bill of rights granting care workers overtime wages and days of rest. Massachusetts has some of the most progressive legislation including anti-trafficking measures in their care workers bill of rights as well as helping to truly enforce the reforms that are being made.
They are allocating money to the Attorney General’s office so that resources can be provided for legal recourse when anyone makes a claim that care worker rights are not being upheld.
She also relates how this issue of domestic care work affects our country economically because if you need help for a child or help to tend to an elderly family member and you cannot go to work, it takes a toll on the GDP.
The US has the fastest growing field of work in the care-giving industry as there area already 2.5 million domestic workers that do this crucial work that allows us to go to work. A world without care-givers means millions of people can’t go to work. It truly is the invisible underpinning that keeps our economic livelihood running smoothly.
Also as women are being more encouraged to enter or re-enter the work force and in some cases needing to do it as a single parent provider, they are not being supported with domestic care worker policies to help them do this.
The burden of care-giving still typically falls on women. Like it or not, we live in a society where men are expected to work hard, have families and still receive highly paid salaries and bonuses whereas women are discriminated against for having children because it’s seen as a liability, a distraction, and a failure to commit to work—we have a gender financial gap and yet we are asking women to work, provide care for their children and elderly family members and somehow afford it all financially, physically, and emotionally.
Jahn states that many people who have care-giving priorities in their home are having to make changes in what kind of careers they choose, switch careers, or start freelancing so they can be more flexible—choosing flexibility over stability. We are not giving people the help they need and only leaving them with the option to be an unpaid care-giver for someone in their family.
It is money that is not going back into the work force; internalizing potential money that could go back to the economy and decreasing our country’s productivity.
Jahn having reached the final destination of her road trip celebrates with a group of domestic care workers at the Perez Art Museum Miami.
With all of these facts and and inequalities faced by our domestic care workers, my spirits were lifted by seeing a different side of the topic when I got a sneak preview of the docu-series.
The happiness, pride, and strength that so many of these care workers show and the stories they share is so empowering and gives so much hope in knowing that these people care about what they do and that they want to make a difference.
With the pending NYC premiere just days away, Jahn is excited to share the consistent message of dignity for workers and quality, affordable care for workers and employees.
The event is slated for March 17th, at the Brooklyn Museum from 2-4PM. There will be a screening followed by keynote speaker, Saskia Sessen, a lively discussion with artists, thinkers & advocates, and amazing music!! Come and see for yourself so you can make your own informed decisions.