A leader with deep roots in Milwaukee, Jennifer Epps-Addison, J.D., is currently the Network President and Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy. Formely, she was the Chief Program Officer of the Liberty Hill Foundation, a social justice foundation in Los Angeles that funds grassroots community organizing campaigns for social change. She was also the Executive Director of Wisconsin Jobs Now, a nonprofit fighting for social and economic justice with collective, direct action as a fundamental organizing principle. Jen has nearly 15 years of organizing experience and a history of playing an integral role in winning campaigns on a variety of economic and social justice issues. Her accomplishments include leading the campaign for paid sick days and fighting for in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants.
She served as the lead organizer behind Milwaukee's historic MORE ordinance, which established community benefit standards for economic development projects using public funds and won top prize in the National League of Cities' Cultural Diversity Awards in 2010.
In October, Jen received the 2013 Edna Award from the Berger-Marks Foundation, which honors an outstanding young woman each year for her leadership in fueling social change.
In 2012, Jennifer led a campaign to pass the Milwaukee Jobs Act, which created entry level construction opportunities for unemployed city residents. Currently, Jennifer is leading a broad coalition of community groups, labor unions, and elected officials who are working to raise wages and standards for Wisconsin workers. Jennifer is also the vice president of the Milwaukee Workers Organizing Committee (MWOC), a recently established low-wage workers union.
Jennifer was an Advanced Opportunity Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School and the recipient of numerous scholarships including the Wisconsin Black Law Alumni Association’s James Thomas Memorial Scholarship and the Foley & Lardner Minority Scholarship. She was one of the youngest fellows ever selected by the Academy of Educational Development for a New Voices National Civil Rights Fellowship. She received the “Friend of Education” award from the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Schools, sat on the board for the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce, and was a semifinalist for Glamour’s Top Ten College Women award.
Currently Jennifer serves as a board member for the Partnership for Working Families, 9to5 Wisconsin, and the Milwaukee Regional Economic Partnership. Jennifer earned her B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies and her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Wisconsin. Before returning to community organizing, Jennifer worked as an attorney for the Milwaukee Trial Office of the Wisconsin State Public Defender and Webb Law Firm. She lives in the Milwaukee area with her husband and their two children.
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