Formed in 1997, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) is a grassroots organization of youth and students who believe that a powerful and dynamic labor movement will ensure greater justice for all people. We use our unique roles of students as consumers, workers, and members of the campus community to win victories that set precedents in the struggle for self-determination of working people everywhere, particularly campus workers and garment workers who make collegiate licensed apparel.
National Student Coordinating Committee (contact info)
Claire Lewis is a fourth year at Northeastern University majoring in International Affairs with minors in Economics and Cultural Anthropology. She first got involved with USAS in her freshman year when she began organizing with night-shift janitors on her campus. Since then, she has been involved with successful campaigns on campus to affiliate with the Worker Rights Consortium, prevent Sodexo from winning Northeastern’s food service contract, and the unionization of 400 dining hall workers contracted by Chartwells. Claire is excited to work on strengthening the Campus Community Solidarity Committee and USAS’s ability to build a student and worker movement to take on the biggest corporations in the world. She is a 22 year old white woman from a professional class background.
Terasia Bradford is in her fourth year at Ohio State University, and a double major in French and Sociology. She has had the immense pleasure of being surrounded by the most inspiring group of USASers over the last three years who have shaped her beliefs as a working class, woman of colour. As her last year at university comes to a close she will forever remember how hard the struggle continues to be, how many sleepless nights are required, how many assignments never got done, but it was freakin’ worth it! #fightback Terasia is also Co-Chair of the Working Class Caucus.
Morgan Currier is a senior at the University of Washington in Seattle studying History, Law, and Music. She’s been a member of USAS and stomping on corporate greed since 2009, beginning with her involvement in USAS’ victorious Nike campaign. Since then, she’s helped organize the UW Kick Out Sodexo campaign, which escalated to three consecutive sit-ins and the UW’s contract cut with the multi-national food service provider, Sodexo. She has also been campaigning locally in solidarity with campus custodians and taking on Adidas for their international labor violations. Morgan is so excited to be a returning member to the Coordinating Committee this year. She identifies as a straight, white woman and is 21 years old.
Casey Sweeney is a senior studying Industrial Labor Relations at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She first got involved in USAS her freshman year through the Rein In Russell and Nike Just Pay It campaigns in solidarity with garment workers producing college apparel, and she’s been on her grind organizing for student-worker power on campus and throughout the world ever since!! After spending her summer on the ground in El Salvador with USAS, she can’t wait to jump into high-gear, taking on corporate greed at Cornell. She is beyond excited to have been elected to the Coordinating Committee for another year and can’t wait to Co-Chair the Mixed-Race Caucus in the Collective Liberation Subcommittee! Casey identifies as a mixed-race/woman of color and is 21 years old. Casey is also Co-Chair of the Mixed-Race Caucus in the Collective Liberation Subcommittee.
Stephanie Medina is a junior from Brown University. She is concentrating in history and africana studies. She has been a core member of Student Labor Alliance, a USAS affiliated group since second semester freshman year. She has worked on HEI divestment and facilities workers contract fights. When she was selected to be part of the USAS Central America Delegation, she was excited and ready to re-launch the DSP campaign on her campus this past spring semester. And, now she is going to go hard and make sure ISC campaigns are all won and the contract fight for dining service workers at Brown will be the strongest yet. When Steph takes a break from saving the world one email at a time, she is watching her second love, the always superbly entertaining — television. Stephanie is also Co-Chair of the Working Class Caucus.
Keavy McFadden is a junior at DePaul University in Chicago where she studies International Studies and Economics. Before transferring to DePaul, Keavy was a member of USAS at Tulane University, where she helped lead a sit-in in the University President’s office to demand the school kick out Sodexo because of the company’s serial track record of union-busting. At DePaul she is starting up a new USAS affiliate to organize student labor campaigns, including the campaign to get DePaul to implement the Designated Suppliers Program. Keavy is also a Regional Organizer and Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus in the Collective Liberation Subcommittee.
National Organizers (contact info)
KB Brower started work as a National Organizer for USAS in 2012. She first got involved in her sophomore year at the College of William and Mary, where she became active in a historic 10-year long fight for living wages for campus workers. As a junior and senior she worked as a Regional Organizer in the Southeast and sat on the USAS Coordinating Committee. After two years of campaigning alongside the housekeeping and groundskeeping staff that culminated in a sit-in, the campus workers received their first raise in years. KB also helped organize USAS’ groundbreaking campaigns against Russell Athletic and Nike, in solidarity with workers who make college apparel. After graduating KB went on to organize with SEIU Healthcare 1199 NE, where she worked on a campaign that won collective bargaining rights for 6000 home-care workers in the state of Connecticut. KB is excited to be working with USAS again to help grow the student-labor movement!
Garrett Shishido Strain started as a national organizer with USAS in 2012. While attending the University of Washington-Seattle, Garrett helped organize several campaigns for student and worker power, including UW USAS’s successful campaign—culminating in three consecutive sit-ins—to end the University’s business relationship with outsourcing giant Sodexo. Beginning in 2010, Garrett also became an elected officer and organizer with UAW Local 4121 where he helped organize a contract campaign that resulted in significant wage increases and improvements for over 4,200 academic student employees across the UW campus. Garrett identifies as mixed-race/person of color and is 24 years old.
Jan Van Tol joined USAS as a National Organizer in 2012 after studying Russian and Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While a student, Jan organized campaigns to pressure the university to sever contracts with New Era Cap, Russell Athletic, and Nike over labor rights violations in their supply chains, forcing those companies to agree to groundbreaking settlements with workers and their unions. After graduation, Jan began work as an organizer for the American Federation of Teachers on a campaign to organize faculty and staff in the University of Wisconsin System and was on the front lines in the battle against Gov. Scott Walker’s corporate-backed attacks on unions. He started work as a National Organizer in 2012, and is a 25 year-old white guy.
Stoni Tomson is a sophomore studying History and Africana Studies at Brown University, where she and her USAS affiliate, the Student Labor Alliance, have been standing up with both campus and global garment workers to fight back against the abuses of the global economic system. She is ecstatic to serve as a Regional Organizer in the Northeast, and proud to work in the labor movement as a queer-identified person. When not building student-worker power and running down corporate greed, Stoni enjoys building fires and running up enormous hills.
Billy Yates is a fourth year International Political Economy and Asian Studies student at the University of Texas at Austin. Billy started up the USAS affiliate at UT in 2010 to reinvigorate the 11 year campaign for WRC affiliation at the largest licensing school in the country, culminating in an 18 person sit-in and a coalition of more than 25 organizations that pushed UT to finally affiliate in spring of 2012. Billy has interned locally with the Worker Defense Project, a community organization fighting for the empowerment of Austin’s low wage construction workers and one of the leading worker centers in the South. Billy is excited to continue the fight for worker’s rights as an RO in the strategic South. He identifies as a queer person of color. Billy is also a member of the WRC board.
Anna Barcy grew up in New Jersey, and attends Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. She is a rising sophomore and has been working with USAS ever since she was approached by RUSAS leaders at clubs fair at the beginning of her freshman year. She has worked on campaigns to cut contracts with cigarette companies that source from the tobacco fields owned by the notoriously abusive RJ Reynolds Corporation. Winning the contract cut was one of the most gratifying things that she has experienced so far as a USASer and as a Rutgers student. This year, Anna will begin work as a regional organizer in the northeast region. She is super excited to start working with all the other USAS leaders across the region! At Rutgers, Anna and her fellow RUSASers will push forward with the nation-wide Adidas campaign. They will also work to keep administrators accountable to implementing the Designated Suppliers Program – a process which former President Richard McCormick publicly pledged to push forward with at the end of the 2012 school year.
Rob Battista is a second year at The Ohio State University majoring in Climatology and Atmospheric Sciences. After getting involved with USAS in his freshman year, he worked on the Buck the Cowboys monopoly licensing campaign, as well as the Don’t Sell Our University anti-privatization campaign. Rob was an International Intern this past summer, spending two months in Nicaragua, as well a USAS delegate to Honduras and El Salvador in the winter. He is proud and excited to be an RO for the Midwest this year!
Daniela Gonzalez-Jatar is a third year Cultural Anthropology major, and International Affairs and Sociology minor at Northeastern University. In the past year, Daniela has been involved in Northeastern’s USAS affiliate, Progressive Student Alliance, and was a part of a campus worker campaign that resulted in over 400 Chartwell’s dining hall workers unionizing. She is relatively new to USAS and is very excited to serve as a Regional Organizer for the Northeast. She is looking forward to expanding the network of USAS and collectively building student-worker power! She is 20 years old and identifies as a queer woman of color.
Lingran Kong is a third year student at UW-Madison studying Political Science and Sociology. She has been involved in her school’s USAS chapter, the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC) since her first year. In the spring of 2011 Lingran was heavily engaged in the Wisconsin Uprising and occupied the capitol building alongside local union members in fighting back Scott Walker’s heinous attack on workers’ rights. She also participated in organizing 3 consecutive days of student walkouts that consisted of thousands of students on campus. Lingran is excited to be a Regional Organizer and build student-worker power in the Midwest!
Leewana Thomas is a junior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is majoring in American Studies with accidental minors in Educational Studies and Anthropology. She has been actively campaigning against the corporate attack on campus and in the community since her first year of college– she has pressured the college to avoid hotels under boycott or dispute with UNITE HERE, she has brought Alta Gracia to campus, and she is currently beginning the new Kick Wall Street of Campus campaign with USAS. This means she’ll be pressuring her school and other institutions to cut ties with the bank responsible for the highest number of foreclosures in the region. Leewana identifies as a straight white woman, and she is super stoked to help other students fight corporate greed and administrative corruption on campuses way up North.
Monica Shattuck is a senior at the University of Michigan studying Organizational Studies and Community Action & Social Change. Following her involvement in Organizing Beyond Barriers, where she primarily organized HEI workers, Monica continued her work in the labor movement by serving as the student representative on her University’s Advisory Committee on Labor Standards and Human Rights. Currently, she is beyond thrilled to continue building the already powerful, brand-spankin’-new USAS chapter on her campus. When not organizing, working, or studying, Monica loves to eat, backpack, run, and cuddle with kittens.
Caitlin MacLaren is a junior at New York University and a Regional Organizer for the New York City area. Caitlin has been involved in starting campaigns to end NYU’s relationships with union-busting trustees and banks foreclosing on record numbers of families in New York. She is in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she studies Power Analysis for Movement Building. She is originally from Miami, FL.
Julia Wang is a third year student at the University of Southern California where she is studying Neuroscience and Human Rights. She is a member of USC’s USAS affiliate, the Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation (SCALE), campaigning alongside both campus workers and international garment workers. Julia is the regional organizer for the southern California region, so if there are any of you out there reading this and happen to go to school anywhere in SoCal, don’t hesitate to shoot her an email! Most recently, she’s been obsessed with lumber-jack winter socks, making biscotti, and super-spy heist films. If you buy her a coffee, she will most definitely love you forever!
Eliana Buenrostro is a third year transfer student at UCLA where she is studying Chicana/o Studies and Gender Studies. She is a member of MEChA de UCLA’s Community and Labor Component as well as the Student Collective Against Labor Exploitation (SCALE) group at UCLA. SCALE is currently organizing with the University of California service and patient care workers of AFSCME Local 3299 in their campaign for fair wages. She is also writer and activist with SPARK Movement an organization which leads campaigns against the sexualization of women and girls in the media.
Collective Liberation Caucus Co-Chairs
Wilfredo Santamaria is a senior at The Ohio State University, majoring in History of Art and minoring in Latino/a Studies. He became involved with his affiliate at OSU during the Sodexo campaign in the spring of 2011, and was integral to the Dallas Cowboys campaign. He spent his summer as an International Representative of USAS in El Salvador talking with garment factory workers and developing relationships with amazing unions working to further the global labor movement. When not contemplating ISC, Wilfredo likes to pose for and upload editorial-quality profile pictures of himself. He is excited to further Collective Liberation within USAS. Wilfredo identifies as a queer working class person of color and is 20 years old.
Timothy Singratsomboune is a second-year student majoring in Ethnic & American Studies at The Ohio State University. Entering USAS at a time when the Sodexo Campaign, the Silver Star Campaign, and anti-privatization movements ran simultaneously at OSU, he has begun the journey to learning as many diverse tactics to create as successful Student-Worker Power as possible. Timothy has also been very involved in USAS’s Collective Liberation efforts and hopes to make USAS stand out as an example of an organization that is not just one of safety and tolerance, but one of inclusion and empowerment. Tim is 20 years old and identifies as a queer, multiracial, and proudly working class student.
Nate Funkhouser is a senior studying Political Science and Latin American Studies at Santa Clara University. He has been involved with USAS since 2009, contributing to both International Solidarity Campaigns and Campus and Community Solidarity Campaigns locally and nationally. Nate is looking forward to his second year as a Queer Caucus Co-Chair and as a contributing member of the Collective Liberation committee. Outside of organizing and school, he is really into going on adventures, trying new foods, and singing in the car. Nate identifies as a queer white male.
Claudia Fernandez is Junior at the Santa Clara University in San Jose, CA studying Environmental Studies and Political Science. She joined the Labor Action Committee, Santa Clara’s USAS affiliate group at the end of her Freshman year and has worked on several on-campus worker campaigns such as fighting for a just healthcare plan for campus facilities’ workers and many international solidarity campaigns such as successfully disaffiliating with the FLA and working towards implementing the Designated Suppliers Program on her campus. Claudia worked as an Organizing Beyond Barrier’s intern for Unite Here! over the summer and is currently studying abroad in El Salvador. She looks forward to returning to SCU so she can jump back into organizing! Claudia identifies as a straight Latina woman and is 20 years old.
Martin Macias, Jr is a Chicago native with too many books and not enough arts & crafts materials. He often scours the web for incredible dancing music and rarely puts stock in the ideological musings of the ruling class. Martin frequently marvels at the immense wisdom of Mother Earth’s grand design. He hopes to one day help break down the national borders which are in the service of the dehumanizing neoliberal corporate agenda. After organizing with immigrant and environmental justice movements Martin is now studying Urban Planning in Chicago where he is building a student coalition in support of campus workers and garment workers. Martin is also a freelance journalist and enjoys playing soccer with his team, the Mighty Mangoes. Lastly, he is a die-hard fan and cooperative member of FC Barcelona!
Mariela Martinez is a member of Student Labor Alliance (SLA) at Brown University. She started SLA as a first year and fell in love with the passion for justice and action oriented attitude of the group. Now she helps organize the campaign demanding that Brown Take Adidas Down for workplace violations. She is a double majoring in Ethnic Studies and History hoping to understand the complexities of labor and immigration in Latino Communities. If you ever meet her spark up a conversation about the intersections between race, immigration, gender, sexuality and labor.
Worker Rights Consortium Board Representatives
Mary Yanik is a second year student at Yale Law School. She graduated last year from University of Maryland, College Park, where she studied chemistry and political science. She was involved in the USAS affiliate at Maryland, Feminism Without Borders, for four years, waging campus campaigns in support of unions in the DC area and all over the world. She has previously worked for USAS as a regional organizer, worked for SEIU 32BJ organizing food service workers, and has served on the Board of the Worker Rights Consortium for two years. She has visited factories and the union leaders that are organizing them in the Dominican Republic and Bangladesh. She grew up in a small town in Kansas and identifies as a white woman that is 22 years old.
Tina Treviño-Murphy is a 22 year old student at Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin studying social work and eventually secondary education. She has been in the Student Labor Action Coalition since the Nike Campaign in 2010, and has done a lot of labor work in the community, especially with the Teaching Assistants’ Association, AFSCME Local 171, and the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin. Favorite color? Orange. Favorite quote? “¡Si no nos dejan soñar, no los dejaremos dormir!”
Karen Li is a sophomore studying Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She first got involved in USAS through the local affiliate, Cornell Organization for Labor Action, during her freshmen year. Karen has campaigned for FLA disaffiliation, adidas contract cut, and signing on to the DSP. As her first year as part of the national leadership, she is very excited to continue working for labor solidarity and fighting back corporate greed. Karen identifies as a straight, woman of color.
Lili Hadsell is a junior majoring in Women’s Studies and English with a minor in Media Studies. I attend Pennsylvania State University and am in the Schreyers Honors College and Paterno Fellows Liberal Arts Honors Program. I went to Central America for a USAS delegation earlier this year and met with collegiate apparel workers in Honduras and El Salvador. I’ve been a member of USAS for over a year. I took eight years of French in high school and college, and a year and a half worth of German. I am a WRC board representative because I believe in the importance of the labor movement working together to increase workers rights all over the world and feel that the WRC holds an important place in the global workers rights movement.