Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1992 she co-founded a national young women’s organization, Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE). After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded the ROC in New York, which has organized restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, launch a cooperatively-owned restaurant, COLORS. ROC now has 10,000 members in nine affiliates in New York, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Houston.
Ms. Jayaraman co-edited The New Urban Immigrant Workforce (ME Sharpe, 2005). Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has been profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” section and was named one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” in 2008, 1010 Wins “Newsmaker of the Year,” and one of New York Magazine’s “Influentials” of New York City. She is the author of Behind the Kitchen Door (Cornell University Press, February 2013).