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Saru Jayaraman      

Co-Founder & Co-Director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley.

After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC, which now has more than 30,000 worker members, 500 employer partners, and 23,000 consumer members in a dozen states nationwide. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was listed in CNN’s “Top 10 Visionary Women” and recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014, and a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2015. In January 2018, she attended the Golden Globes as the guest of actor Amy Poehler, where she brought widespread attention to the issue of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. Saru was one of eight women activists who attended the Globes as part of the #TimesUp initiative.

Saru authored Behind the Kitchen Door (Cornell University Press, 2013), a national bestseller, and Forked: A New Standard for American Dining (Oxford University Press, 2016). She has appeared on CNN with Soledad O’Brien, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Melissa Harris Perry and UP with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the Today Show, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

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