Charlene Dickerson is a frontline home care worker who has done caregiving in both agency and private pay settings for 30 years. After she started working at the age of 10, Charlene first entered the field of caregiving as a way to support her family without a college degree. She has always worked two to three jobs to survive, and her lived experiences within the field have shaped her commitment to changing long-term care. Charlene is passionate about improving the conditions within long-term care for caregivers so they can perform their essential work with dignity, and dismantling the historic racial inequities within caregiving which disproportionately impact Black women.
Charlene’s advocacy against structural racism within long-term care includes lobbying state officials in Massachusetts to pass legislation to improve wages and conditions for healthcare workers. In addition to her legislative advocacy, Charlene is an active volunteer with Springfield No One Leaves, a member-led community organization that defends residents against housing displacement. She is also active in HC Rising, a project of 1199SEIU MA.
The Center for Advancing Racial Equity and Job Quality in Long-Term Care (The Center for Equity) is a national hub for developing innovative workforce policy and fostering narrative change in long-term care (LTC). Our work centers the majority Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) women and immigrant caregiving workforce and confronts the links between systemic racial and gender inequities and poor job quality. We unite diverse stakeholders in service of building the equitable caregiving infrastructure our nation needs.
The Center for Equity is an initiative of the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP), a national labor/management organization which works with employers, unions and workers to raise standards across the healthcare industry. The initiative is generously funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
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