Protest personalities: Phoebe Jones

    Phoebe Jones of the Global Women's Strike. (Dana DiFilippo/WHYY)

    Phoebe Jones of the Global Women's Strike. (Dana DiFilippo/WHYY)

    City officials expect as many as 50,000 protesters a day to hit Philadelphia’s streets and a demonstration zone at FDR Park, across from the Democratic National Convention taking place at Wells Fargo Center.

    Each day, we’ll profile a protest leader to give you a peek at the personalities behind the chants and signs.

    Want to participate in or watch a protest march? Or would you prefer to dodge protests — and the traffic congestion they could cause — altogether? The DNC Action Committee has a protest master schedule online.

    Cause

    Women’s rights. Co-coordinator of the Global Women’s Strike.

    Strategy

    Rallies and advocacy. Her group will host Women Speak Out at the DNC for Justice, Survival and a Living Wage for All on Tuesday at the Broad Street Ministry, 315 S. Broad St.

    Age

    62.

    Home base

    Overbrook.

    Day job

    Co-coordinator of the Global Women’s Strike, and coordinator of the Crossroads Women’s Center in Germantown.

    Bet you didn’t know

    She grew up in a Quaker family in Washington, D.C., where her father, a lawyer, worked for Bobby Kennedy in the U.S. Justice Department. Her parents sent her to the Burgundy Farm Country Day School, the first school to racially integrate in Virginia. (Her first-grade teacher: Cab Calloway’s daughter.)

    Still, she didn’t fully embrace a life of activism until she went to Oberlin College, where she read about Selma James, who founded the wages for housework campaign. “It really brought together issues of sex, race, and class in ways that I hadn’t thought of,” Jones said.

    An avid runner, Jones later got a Ph.D. in physical education from Temple University and worked in recreation and fitness for several years, founding a women’s fitness club there.

    In her words

    “Women have been at the forefront of justice work, and our children are often in the front lines. Our unwaged caregiving and low-wage work hold families and communities together. We’re over half the electorate. We’re campaigners against poverty, welfare reform, unjust child-welfare removal, domestic violence and rape, racism, criminalization, police violence, mass incarceration, deportation, war, poisoning our water, pollution, land theft, and climate change.

    “We carry the heaviest burden of work, with a double or triple day for the lowest wages. Our unwaged caregiving work alone produces $470 billion a year to the U.S. economy, yet we’re told there’s no money: no money to pay a living wage or $15 minimum wage, or to pass the Rise Out of Poverty Act, or institute pay equity, or end discrimination. We lead the struggle for a better world but are never given credit for this justice work. Well, we’re letting our voices be heard, and our demand be heard, at the DNC. We’re sending a message to the DNC: Without our work, the entire society would fall apart. When women stop, everything stops. We will not be silent.”

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