President, Labor Council for Latin America Advancement, Sacramento Chapter, AFL-CIO
I am the daughter of Al Rojas and Elena Rojas, co-founders of the United Farm Workers Union and organizers of the successful 1968 Grape Boycott. For over 45 years I have been organizing in the U.S. and in Mexico in support of farmworkers, teachers, women, and indigenous communities alongside my father, who died one year ago. I have been a labor and community organizer for justice for the most oppressed workers and one of the builders of the largest government workers’ union in California – SEIU Local 1000 – as well as the USWW janitors’ union. I am a member of the Continuous Committee of Labor & Community for an Independent Party (LCIP) and I sit on the California Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women California Committee.
I am excited to participate in the Open World Conference and the International Working Women’s Conference in France to share about the inhumane injustice toward farmworkers in the 5th largest economy in the world, and how NAFTA/ USMCA have affected families and the original people of the American continent, creating forced migration and separation of families. I would like to explain why the Driscoll’s Boycott and the campaign to support the detained undocumented immigrant strikers in Mesa Verde are so important, and what it will take to win workers’ demands.
President, Baltimore Teachers Union, Maryland
I’m an organizer and a co-conspirator against all things anti-black and racist. Since 2015, I’ve had the pleasure of organizing with the Baltimore Movement of Rank and File Educators (BMORE), a social justice caucus of the Baltimore Teachers Union and Ujima People’s Progress Party (UPP), a black-led labor party in Maryland.
While organizing with these two groups, I’ve learned so much about capitalism, imperialism, workers’ rights, workers’ movement’s, and liberation for African people. The more I learn about and experience oppression, capitalism, and racism, the more I want to fight, but I know I can’t fight alone so I am always looking for more co-conspirators to fight with. Attending the International Working Women’s Conference and Open World Conference gives me an opportunity to build with others across the globe! I have no idea what collective necessary trouble will arise from the conferences but I sure am ready to find out!
Member, National Organizing Committee of Socialist Organizer
As we intensify our struggle for fundamental reproductive rights here in the United States, we are fully aware that the struggle is international. In Pakistan, young girls are routinely denied access to healthcare. In Saudi Arabia, a woman remains under the control of her father, then husband and sons. It is both a necessity as well as an honor to gather at the International Working Women’s Conference and the Open World Conference the day afterwards because inherent to women’s self-determination and personal autonomy is the greater struggle of the working class for its emancipation.
State Organizer, Ujima People’s Progress Party (UPP) State Organizer, Baltimore, MD
I have been an organizer in the U.S. front of the Pan African Internationalist struggle to defeat imperialism, U.S. capitalism and white supremacy for over 30 years. I am excited to participate in the Paris Conferences, International Working Women’s Conference and Open World Conference, as a representative of the Ujima People’s Progress Party in the state of Maryland because we hope to expand our understanding of the struggle against the bosses and build broader unity with our struggle to win African liberation in the United States as a part of the overall workers struggle to defeat U.S. capitalism.
It is our hope that this conference will also allow us to unite with other oppressed colonized and neo-colonized working-class movements to add our voices to the international struggle to defeat imperialism and win workers power.
Member, Continuations Committee, Labor & Community for an Independent Party (LCIP), Long Beach, CA
I am honored and excited to be a part of the U.S. delegation to the Open World Conference and part of the U.S. delegation to the International Working Women’s Conference (IWWC). I want to be a part of this international gathering of working-class organizers and anti-capitalists because the ongoing onslaught of imperialist war and devastation, as well as ecological sabotage, put before us the urgency of our task(s) to build an international working-class struggle against imperialism and capitalist exploitation! Our very lives depend on it! I want to lend my experience and skills to the struggle against imperialism and capitalist exploitation, and to be a part of organizing the international workingclass struggle.
Immigrant Justice Attorney and Activist, Oakland, CA
I’m excited to be able to participate in the International Working Women’s Conference and the Open World Conference, both of which will unite activists across the world to discuss a common plan to defend and advance the rights of the working class and oppressed people globally. Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, and as we face further attacks on women’s reproductive rights in the U.S., we need to connect our fight with activists across the world fighting capitalist exploitation and patriarchal oppression.
Editorial Board, The Organizer; Member, Coordinating Committee, International Workers Committee (IWC)
Global march to World War III? Not so far-fetched; it is being discussed seriously, as the war budgets skyrocket, in the highest summits of the military establishments in the U.S. and its allies. Expanding drought and climate extinction? This is discussed widely in the media and among scientists as a possible scenario. New and more devastating pandemics, while patents and vaccines are denied to oppressed nations and people? The list is long. Capitalism is incapable of finding solutions to any of these global scourges; in fact, it is responsible for them. Building a fightback against war and capitalist exploitation is an urgent task. The Paris International Working Women’s Conference (IWWC) and Open World Conference (OWC) conferences are an important moment in helping to organize the fightback to save humanity and the environment. It’s truly a matter of socialism or barbarism.
Executive Assistant to the President, Baltimore Teachers Union, MD
I was an elementary publicschool teacher for 14 years. I taught in the most affluent school district in Maryland (Montgomery County) for 9 years and then taught in the poorest school district in Maryland (Baltimore City) for 5 years. While teaching in Baltimore City, I co-founded a social justice caucus called BMORE (Baltimore Movement of Rankand-File Educators) in 2015 to help organize teachers and schools to build power and solve problems.
BMORE decided to run for the leadership of the Baltimore Teachers Union in 2019 and we won, displacing the complacent president who had been in leadership for over 2 decades. Our president Diamonté Brown and our team ran on a platform of a member-run union that works in solidarity with educators, students, families, and communities to build the schools our students deserve and the union our members deserve.
We ran for union leadership again in 2022 and won, so we are excited to continue building the movement. I look forward to being part of the U.S. Delegation to the International Working Women’s Conference and Open World Conference so I can share the organizing work we have done so far and learn from and be inspired by the work of other organizers around the world.
IVONNE HEINZE BALCAZAR
Member, California Faculty Association (CFA), CSU-Dominguez Hills, CA
I am an indigenous Mexican Marxist and decolonial activist. I am also a labor party advocate and have been working toward this goal with LCIP (Labor & Community for an Independent Party). I have been active in labor organizing for the last 18 years in the California Faculty Association (CFA), the union of coaches, librarians, professors, and adjuncts of the CSU system.
I was a member of the organizing committee of the Binational Conference in 2017. As a student, I was active in college organizing minority students and participated in organizing the first studenthunger strike in support of the admittance of undocumented students at UCLA. It would be my first time attending the Open World Conference and participating in it with individuals that believe in the same philosophy for the construction of socialism. This is exhilarating for me, and I look forward to joining comrades at the Open World Conference
Immigrant Justice Activist, Author, and Movement Lawyer
As the founder of a workerled immigrant justice organization (Pangea Legal Services), my collectivist political values have been put to practice every day for the last 10 years. Between 2002 and 2012, I lived and was active in various movement struggles in San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York, Argentina, and Sierra Leone. I currently live on Ohlone land, also known as Berkeley, California.
I look forward to participating in the Open World Conference and the International Working Women’s Conference because I’m excited to learn, be inspired, and bring our collective-global ideas back to the U.S. and our organizing efforts here.
FERNANDO DAVID MARQUEZ
Student Organizer, UC Riverside; Member, UAW 2865, Riverside, CA
I am a Marxist and decolonial activist from México. I am studying for a PhD in Political Science at the University of California Riverside (UCR). I also teach classesatUCRasaTAandasan adjunct. I am one of the head stewards of the UAW 2865 union at Riverside. I have worked supporting Indigenous groups in Baja California, México, as well as with the resistance in defense of water in Baja California.
I’m excited to participate in the Open World Conference because it will be the first time I will participate in a working-class international conference. I’m also excited because I will represent the binational and internationalist efforts of a working-class organization towards socialism. As a young person, worker, and academic, I think I can add valuable elements to the discussion towards the construction of a Workers’ International.