lake merritt love letter

Yvonne Sept 2015Yvonne Yen Liu has played at being many things in life. Her first job was at an ice cream shop in Flushing, New York at age 13. She shared the night shift with a colleague. To pass the time, they would make sundaes, such as marshmallow-covered pecan and strawberry cheesecake with fudge sprinkles, for the other to eat. To this day, Yvonne detests ice cream. She also played at being a microserf at a dot com, a barker at a freak show, and a precariat adjunct in the academy.

Today, Yvonne is a worker-owner at Solidarity Research Center, a cooperative that builds capacities of workers and communities of color to conduct inquiries and create beautiful counterhegemonies. Formerly, she was a researcher at Economic Roundtable, the national research director at Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, and the senior researcher at Race Forward (formerly known as the Applied Research Center).  Her writing has been featured in Colorlines, In These Times, and Yes magazine.

Yvonne serves on the General Executive Board and the Survey and Research Committee of the storied syndicalist union, Industrial Workers of the World.  She co-founded the Research Justice Community and Solidarity Research Network. Yvonne has a BA in cultural anthropology from Columbia University and a MA degree in sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center (where she pursued a PhD to bask in the glow of David Harvey and Neil Smith). She is based in Los Angeles, California, where the sun smiles down at her every day.

Yvonne is still searching for that perfect blend of militant, transformational politics and praxis, with the organic leadership of those most impacted, like peanut butter and dark chocolate (an ice cream flavor Yvonne actually tolerates). Send any leads her way. Meanwhile, take a look-see at her writing, check out when she talks, and take delight in the shiny baubles she finds to share.