Cornell University

Credit Internship Program

119 Ives Hall, 607-255-2266

Student Profile

Nagiane Lacka

Domestic Workers United

Fall 2008


For the 2008 Fall semester, I worked with the Domestic Workers United (DWU), an organization of nannies, housekeepers and elderly caregivers who advocate for domestic workers rights through educational training, legislation and catered services.  During my time with DWU, I did outreach to help domestic workers in New York City become aware of the campaign to pass the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, as well as to help them become familiar with DWU so they could learn their rights, and gain moral and legal support in their isolated workplaces.

For my role as an organizer, I went to parks and bookstores to talk to nannies about their struggles, direct them to needed resources, and to connect them with other domestic workers. I learned to help domestic workers feel comfortable enough to open up, share their stories and concerns, connect their struggles to other domestic workers and develop a voice in a society that has deemed them second-class-citizens. I have taken away a great deal of information on organizational and political strategy, worker advocacy and organization, and the domestic worker industry and history.  As a student activist, this experience solidifies my work and puts my role as a student in the context of a movement.

- Nagiane Lacka