Linda Oalican

Damayan Migrant Workers Association
Overall Coordinator

Key Topics: Domestic workers organizing, Trafficking and extreme labor exploitation of domestic workers, Building the domestic workers movement in NYC and nationally, Community-based participatory research, Domestic work, gender and migration, notably with regard to the Filipino experience, The rise of domestic workers centers and the decline of unions.

Bio: Linda is the co-founder and overall coordinator of DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association. She was a student activist at the University of the Philippines in the 1970s during the martial days and later became a community and labor organizer. In 1994, she migrated to the U.S. to ensure her children’s college education and family survival. Since arriving in the U.S., she worked as a domestic worker and personally experienced the abuses, discrimination, and social isolation that are endemic in the industry. Using her organizing background, Linda co-founded DAMAYAN in 2002 with fellow Filipino domestic workers. She received the Union Square Award in 2004 on behalf of DAMAYAN and continues to be a strong leader and organizer in the movement for domestic and migrant workers’ rights, dignity, and justice. In 2012, she was honored by the National Domestic Worker Alliance (NDWA) as one of two NDWA national worker leaders.

Selected Speaking Experience

  • Panelist: Hidden in Plain Sight: The engines that drive human trafficking; Church of Holy Trinity, New York – March 2014.
  • Panelist: Vision 2020 Anti Human Trafficking Conference; New York Asian Women Center, New York – January 2014.
  • Co presenter: People’s Global Action on Migration, Development, and Human Rights 2013; Church Center for the United Nations, New York – September 2013.
  • Speaker: Acceptance of Frederick Douglass Award for Damayan at North Star Fund 2013 Community Gala; Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, New York – April 2013.
  • Speaker: United Methodist Women Conference on Human Trafficking; Church Center for the United Nations, NY – March 2013.
  • Presenter of Honoree: North Star Fund 2012 Community Gala; Metropolitan Pavilion, New York – May 2012.
  • Speaker Honoree: National Domestic Workers Alliance 5th Anniversary Gala Celebration; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC – November 2012