Leaders in Action for Justice

Tanika Aden

  • SEIU Healthcare Local 775 NW
  • Healthcare
If there were a leadership yearbook, what would your yearbook superlative be and why?

In the yearbook my title would be the "Most likely to call". Since Ireturning home from the ignite conference last year I joined a new program my local is doing that reaches out to non card signing members to try and get them to sign their cards to join the union. I also reach out to brand new members to welcome them to the union and ask them to join the union as well. I’ve been able to sign up hundreds of new members this way.

What is one of your proudest leadership moments during the past year and why? Feel free to share more than one.

One of my proudest leadership moments from the past year came when I reached out to a union member who considered herself anti-union. She is a single mother struggling to make it. We had visited her several times before and she refused to sign a membership card and didn’t want anything to do with the union. She felt her job as a caregiver taking care of her mother didn’t have any value real value. She felt isolated, overworked and alone. Myself also being a hard working single mom taking care of a family member I was able to share the union difference with her and let her know she is a valued member of society and she is not alone. She has a union who will stand beside her and together we can make a difference. I shared my story about having come from a bad union experience and not wanting a union in our state to now being the youngest executive board member ever to have been elected to our board, even winning member organizer of the year at my local along the way. I let her know she does have a voice and she did have a say in what happens in her life. By the end of the conversion she was crying and thanked me for calling her. She kept in touch with me and recently decided to step up as a leader in her area by doing a internship to reach out to other members. I feel proud to have been able to be apart of her development.

Looking ahead to this year, what do you want to be the next step in your development as a leader? How will that step help our movement for economic and racial justice?

I think the next step in my development is to get more millenials and minorities involved in my local. I’m proud of how far we’ve come but 775 can still do better. I think this will help the movement because there will be more people who represent the people dealing with social and economic injustice to speak up and be heard. We don’t want a bunch of people who are all the same age and look the same way. We need more diversity so everyone can fight for what’s right together.

Anything else you would like to add?

SEIU ROCKS! ��. I highly enjoyed the ignite conference and left feeling very empowered.