Date Range: 1989 – 2005
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2009-02-20
Creator: Chen, May Ying
May Chen (1948- ) is a labor organizer who for more than twenty years has been actively engaged in outreach and advocacy for immigrant workers. Born and raised in Boston, MA, she received her BA from Radcliffe College and her MA in Education at UCLA. While in California, she worked as a high school and adult education teacher, wrote for the A/PA publications Gidra
, founded a day care center that employed mainly immigrant women, and taught Asian and Asian American Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
Chen’s involvement in the labor movement began in 1983 with her membership in Local 23-25 and her work on the ILGWU Immigration Project beginning in 1984. The first union-initiated legal advocacy department for immigrant workers, the Immigration Project assisted thousands of union members in application for U.S. citizenship, sponsorship petitions on behalf of relatives, and legalization under the “amnesty” clause of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.