I have been a staff organizer at the Southern Maine Workers' Center. I was drawn to PIW, because as a workers rights organizer I know the trades have a racism and inclusion issue. Manual labor is stigmatized and when it's not, the safe and good paying union jobs are prohibited through gate keeping which keeps otherwise qualified black, indigenous, immigrants, poc and lgbtqia+ people from ever making it in the door. If they make it that far they have to work twice as hard with twice the harassment just to prove themselves. I am fortunate to know so many labor organizers and rank and file members who work everyday to change this, but that doesnt always translate when the workers arent applying with good cause because of the stigma & harassment. So training up a qualified workforce, who knows their rights, worth and won't settle for less will be one part of making the changes so needed in these industries. As a black trans man with mixed heritage who grew up in New England, to me change is imperative. Black, indigenous, immigrant, poc and lgbtqia+ people are going to have a seat at the table, or these industries are gonna die. In a world where good employment is scarce, unions are losing their power, and racism is mounting, PIW has the potential to bring these pieces together. "A rising tide lifts all boats." I'm thrilled to be part of a team that will invest in our students and the industries they are placed in so that everyone thrives. I look forward to striving, making mistakes, and learning, but always moving the needle closer to progress. Past projects include; State-wide Maine campaign for Ranked choice voting, and community organizing for black liberation, and racial justice in Northern New England.