In 2013, Equality Works (EQW) was founded with the mission to provide resources for gendered discrimination in the workplace by April Harlo and four of her fellow alumni from University of San Francisco’s (USF) International & Multicultural Education (IME) Masters programs. Focusing on addressing gendered workplace discrimination through a human rights and intersectional feminist lens, the organization was rejuvenated in the fall of 2016 when the board of directors sought to expand EQW’s scope of work and programs.
During the summer of 2016, EQW’s treasurer (now board member) Asma Eschen, hired 2015 IME alumna Jazzmin Gota to edit her memoir, My Story, Your Story. While working on the manuscript Jazzmin noticed Asma’s experience in nonprofit work and asked her for advice for starting an “informal human rights education organization for human rights awareness and literacy.” After explaining the purpose of a proposed new organization, Asma exclaimed, “wait, a few of us started an organization for human rights education in 2013, perhaps we can all work on it instead of starting a new one!” That October Jazzmin was brought on as EQW’s executive director and began contacting her fellow IME and Human Rights Education alumni and community members to join the organization. April and Asma stayed on as board members, while Breana remained in her position as secretary.
In 2017, Equality Works has begun developing programs at the intersection of worker’s rights, the right to workplace equality, and freedom from discrimination in workplace. The first two projects— Worker’s Rights Pocketbook and an interactive website resource for education around workplace discrimination—are currently in research and production.