who i am

Yvonne Yen Liu has played at being many things in her life. Her first job was at an ice cream shop in Flushing, New York at 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.

Today, Yvonne is the Director of Research for the Maven Collaborative. We center race, gender and joy in the pursuit of economic justice. From grassroots movement building to grasstops debate, our work pushes progressive movements to properly diagnose economic problems, build new policies, and promote new politics to address the root causes of economic exclusion.

Yvonne is the co-founder and research director of Solidarity Research Center, a worker self-directed nonprofit that builds solidarity economy ecosystems for workers of color and subaltern populations. In addition, Yvonne teaches in the gender studies department at California State University, Los Angeles. She serves on the boards of the US Solidarity Economy Network, Policy Advocates for Sustainable Economies, and the Institute for Social Ecology. Yvonne was the 2018 Activist-in-Residence Fellow at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

Yvonne has over 20 years of experience supporting racial justice and social impact organizations with quantitative and qualitative research. She is passionate about telling stories through words, images, or data to shift hearts, minds, and guts. Her writing has been featured in Colorlines, In These Times, and Yes Magazine.

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. Although a native of New York City, she and the city have parted ways. She is based in Los Angeles, California where the sun smiles down on her every day.