We build women’s collective power in the U.S.

May 30, 2023

50 Years of the Ms. Foundation: Ai-jen Poo

by Ai-jen Poo

Throughout our 50th anniversary year, we’re telling the stories of leaders who have worked with the Ms. Foundation during different periods of the organization’s history. This Q&A was written by Ai-jen Poo, President of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and 2007 Woman of Vision Award Honoree. 

Tell us about your relationship with the Ms. Foundation. 

Exactly 25 years ago, I began organizing domestic workers in the parks and playgrounds of Manhattan. I listened to their stories and invited them to come together on Saturday afternoons during their day off, to imagine a future where their work was respected, and protected. At the time, it was common for people to tell me that “domestic workers can’t be organized.” But when I went to the Ms. Foundation, not only did they believe it could be done, they gave us a grant to support it.

What is one thing you’re proud of in your work with the Ms. Foundation? 

It is the Ms. Foundation’s unwavering faith in women that has led to the growth of so many organizations and movements, and the development of leaders who, like me, simply believed that women’s organizing can change anything and everything. Today, as a result of domestic workers organizing, 10 states and four cities have passed Domestic Workers Bill of Rights legislation, and a women-led movement to make the care economy a focal point of our economic policy is taking hold around the country.  

The Ms. Foundation is a faith-based institution: it’s the home for faith in the power of women’s organizing. Just like domestic work is the work that makes all other work possible, it’s that faith that makes women’s organizing possible.


For 50 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has shaped women’s philanthropy in the United States, providing a blueprint for the establishment of hundreds of local and regional women’s funds, influencing mainstream culture through nationwide projects such as Take Our Daughters to Work Day, and making grants totaling over $90 million to more than 1,600 grassroots organizations across the country.