Yvonne was lured into participating in her very first direct action in October 1998 by a DJ friend who invited her to a street dance party in the East Village. She joined 300 people in shutting down the intersection of Broadway and Astor Place for hours, not realizing that she contributed to the birth of the New York City chapter of Reclaim the Streets. She has since knowingly engaged in many social movements including the global justice, anti-war, Occupy, solidarity unionism, solidarity economy, and radical municipalism.
Today, Yvonne is the Director of Research for the Maven Collaborative, which centers race, gender, and joy in the pursuit of economic justice. From grassroots movement building to grasstops debate, Maven 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 Co-Director of Solidarity Research Center, a nonprofit that builds solidarity economy ecosystems for workers of color and subaltern populations. She is a Research Fellow with the Transnational Institute. 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 (a 501(c)(4) organization affiliated with the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives), Institute for Social Ecology, and New Economy Coalition. 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.