Leanne is a migrant, intersectional and internationalist feminist from the Philippines, now based in her adopted community of New York City. She has spent the past 10 years as a feminist organiser and advocate, working with grassroots groups and civil society organisations to address inequalities and amplify social justice agendas. She facilitates political education programs, orchestrates campaigns, and coordinates participatory research projects with civil society organisations and movements in the US and globally to strengthen solidarities and collective action.
Her work has focused on issues at the intersections of labour rights and economic justice, decolonising development policies, women’s rights, and gender justice, and feminist philanthropy. She is currently the Senior Program Manager for the Funders for a Just Economy Program at the Neighborhood Funders Group, where she organises funders toward strategic alignment with the labour movement and the worker justice movement to advance economic justice and address racial capitalism.
Prior to this role, she was the Program Officer for labour rights and economic justice at Mama Cash Fund, Senior Strategic Advisor at Tides Advocacy, and was Economic Policy and Human Rights Officer at the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) and the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law, and Development (APWLD) where she amplified the bold advocacy work of movements globally.
When Leanne was 20, she co-founded a community school focused on education equity for working-class, disinvested communities in New York, giving her first-hand experience in long-term organisational development and strategic planning. She has served on two boards where she provided core governance and programmatic leadership during key growth and transition phases for the organisations and currently serves as a global advisor for the FRIDA Young Feminist Fund.
As a Fellow, Leanne wrote a chapter called “State Repression in the Philippines during COVID-19 and Beyond” published in “Social Movements and Politics During COVID-19” with Bristol University Press.
She holds a BA in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies from the City University of New York and an MSc in Inequalities and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
What gives me hope are activists, especially working women, and frontline communities that are confronting and winning against powerful forces that threaten their ability to live in dignity. As an immigrant, I am inspired by movements in both the global South and the global North that are coming together despite inequalities, violent repression and shrinking civil society space to take action, build emergent strategies, break isolation and nurture deep solidarities to claim their rights.