The Labor Center understands that workers are whole human beings whose lives go beyond their workplace and whose work lives are deeply affected by what happens in their communities. When Black people suffer racist attacks in their communities—whether the attacks come in the form of police and extrajudicial violence, or underfunded public education, or exposure to environmental degradation, or mass incarceration—these are workers’ rights issues.
Labor Center Leadership
Workshops & Leadership Schools
Area of Expertise
Union organizing and contract campaigns
Developing new organizers and organizational leaders
Danielle Mahones is a skilled facilitator and trainer, and has 20 years of experience in social justice movement work. For nine years she served as the executive director of the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO), a racial justice organization dedicated to building a social justice movement led by people of color. As executive director, she still kept her hand in direct program work by facilitating Spanish-language organizing trainings, providing strategic and organizational consultations to key allies, developing curricula for the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s California Lead Organizer Institute, and co-founding new programs such as the Black Organizing Project and BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity).
Prior to this Danielle spent a decade working in the labor movement. She organized hotel workers with HERE Local 2850 and janitors with SEIU Local 1877, and directed new organizing and contract campaigns for Stanford hospital and university workers with SEIU Local 715 (now 521). She has worked as an independent consultant to community, labor, and philanthropic organizations, including The California Endowment’s East Oakland Building Healthy Communities initiative, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Latino Outreach Program of the League of Conservation Voters, the Ella Baker Center, and the Bay Area Black Workers Center. She joined the staff of the Labor Center in 2014 to provide technical assistance to the National Black Worker Center and Bay Area Black Worker Center.
In her current role as director of the Leadership Development program at the Labor Center, Danielle leads the team that provides the trainings, workshops, leadership schools, and technical assistance to unions, worker organizations, and community organizations. She is a lead trainer and facilitator in many of the Labor Center’s core programs, and also leads the Labor Summer internship program. She co-convenes a workers’ rights learning cohort of Bay Area workers centers with the Chinese Progressive Association. Danielle is part of the leadership and management team of the Labor Center.
“Sometimes there’s this assumption that, ‘Oh, college kids are being supported by their parents,’” Mahones said. “But that’s not always the case.”
Workers at Amazon, Chipotle, and Starbucks are winning union elections. But it might take years before they see a contract
Management may attempt to use the stasis induced by its own stalling tactics as evidence that unions don’t benefit employees, said Danielle Mahones.
“Workers of color have been central participants in the labor movement for a really long time,” said Danielle Mahones, a trainer at the UC Berkeley Labor Center.