Tanya Wallace-Gobern is the first executive director of the National Black Worker Center Project.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola University of Chicago she moved to the deep south in 1991 to launch an organizing career empowering women and people of color. Her professional experience includes organizing with UNITE HERE (formerly the Union of Needle trades, Textiles and Industrial Employees) AFL-CIO and the Association of Flight Attendants. Aggravated by the low number of African Americans among staff and union leadership, she created the AFL-CIO’s Historical Black College Recruitment program.
In 2004 she entered the nonprofit community to led the field operation for Women’s Action For New Directions. Based in Atlanta, GA she directed national programs to educate the public and elected officials about the need to reduce and redirect excess military spending.
Returning to labor in 2008 Tanya relocated to Sacramento, CA where she learned a different, non-adversarial approach to trade unionism and joined the staff of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (CKPU). Initially hired as the National Affiliations Coordinator she led the affiliation of the Hawaii region into the Coalition. Being promoted several times she served in the roles of Southern California National Coordinator, Director of Transformation, East Coast Field Director and National Field Director.
As Executive Director of the National Black Worker Center Project she lives out her lifelong passion while executing the mission of empowering Black workers to advance their rights and improve the quality of jobs in key employment sectors.
Tanya leads a cadre of membership-based, and member-driven Black worker centers that utilize a combination of leadership development, organizing, policy advocacy, and strategic communications to build power to address the black job crisis.
Partnering regional black worker centers are located in Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, Il, New Orleans, LA, Baltimore, MO, Raleigh-Rocky Mount, NC, Greenville, MS, Washington, DC and Oakland, CA.
Ms. Wallace-Gobern has an advanced knowledge of community and political structures. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Leadership program and her opinions and contributions have been featured in YSB magazine, Ebony magazine, The Los Angeles Times and on ABC Nightly News.
The Job Quality Fellowship is part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at as.pn/eofn.
Bio updated September 2018.