Welcome to NonProfit PRO's 2016 Nonprofit Professionals of the Year Awards. This entry is for Unsung Hero. To view all of this year's award winners, click here.
In May 2015, The New York Times ran a groundbreaking investigation on the horrific conditions New York’s nail salon workers faced on the job. It was a huge story, shedding light on major issues that had until then gone mostly overlooked.
A big reason it made the news at all? Julia Liou.
Liou is director of program planning and development for Asian Health Services, a California health-care and advocacy nonprofit. And she is founder and leader of California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative (CHNSC) a collective of more than 40 member organizations that fights for healthy working conditions in nail salons.
Founded in 2005 and sponsored by Asian Health Services, the organization laid the groundwork for The New York Times investigation. And Liou is its lifeblood.
“You’d be hard-pressed to even find a bio that reflects the leadership Julia provides to this collaborative,” said Erin Switalski, executive director of Women’s Voices for the Earth, a member of CHNSC. “She’s a truly collaborative leader who takes direction from the people who are most impacted by the problem she’s addressing—the salon workers themselves. Her leadership is resulting in national attention for nail salon workers.”