Ep. 93 Palak Shah “Who’s Gonna Care?”

July 11, 2018

Playing for Team Human today is Palak Shah, Social Innovations Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). Palak will be enlightening us about America’s hidden labor force, the value they create, and how we can support her efforts to give them the voice and dignity they deserve.

While domestic work has long been viewed as something less than “real work,” Palak explains how this invisible labor is actually the backbone of both our society and the economy. Together, Palak and Douglas look at how our perceptions of domestic work are so deeply influenced by biases of gender, race, and class. Shah also looks at how the legacy of slavery and decades of immigration policy continue to influence domestic work in today’s economy. As the economy goes digital and the labor force increasingly moves online to platforms and apps, Shah and the NDWA are working to shape the way technology and the on-demand economy intersects with care work. It’s a conversation that brings us back to fundamental Team Human questions – Who is going to care for our children, our sick, and our elderly? Who’s going to care for our caregivers?

In this episode, Palak mentions a specific innovation for “portable benefits” called Alia. This week Alia is featured in Wired magazine. Read about it here: How an App Could Give Some Workers a Safety Net

Also mentioned is the Fair Care Pledge and the Good Work Code.

This episode features a recording of Palak Shah’s speech before a live audience at the 2015 Persona Democracy Forum. Visit the PDF website for details and the complete presentation.

Rushkoff opens the show with a monologue about the recent Facebook campaign to restore its image as a friend and partner in building a safe space on the internet. On the “big scary internet,” who are our true friends?

Today’s show start and ends with music thanks to Dischord Records and Fugazi. Also featured are originals by Josh Sitron and the Team Human Band and Episode 31 guest, R.U. Sirius.

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