Women of the World Unite!

April 10, 2024

1199 mag women of the world unite.jpgParading with pride in costumes from their country of origin, the women of 1199 came together at two solidarity events held at the Union’s Manhattan headquarters in recognition of Women’s History Month.

On March 7, New York State Assembly Member Marcela Mitaynes [D-51st District], a Peruvian emigre who was raised by her family in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, delivered the keynote address at 1199’s annual Parade of Nations. Elected to office in 2021, Mitaynes represents Red Hook, Sunset Park and northern Bay Ridge.

For a union as diverse as 1199, the annual event gives members the unique opportunity to learn more about — and celebrate — the wide variety of cultures represented.

Vishally Persaud, an 1199 Delegate and home health worker with the Stella Orton agency in Staten Island, said the Parade of Nations gives her a chance to represent her Guyanese heritage and “learn more about the traditions of my fellow members.”

This year’s event was a first for Angelique Huerta, an 1199 Shift Supervisor at the Rite Aid pharmacy in Astoria, Queens.

“I’m really proud to participate,” she said on the eve of International Women’s Day. “As women, we need to support one another.”

Alizandra Garri, an 1199 home care worker with the Riseboro Community Partnership in Brooklyn, called International Women’s Day "an important time for us to recognize the remarkable work of women.”

“When we stand together, we empower each other,” Garri said.

Originally from Ukraine, fellow 1199 home care member Olga Dnistrian now works with the Polish Slavic Center. “My sister is still in Ukraine, and it is very dangerous for her,” she said. “I send money home to help out.”

Organized by a coalition of New York City labor unions and community activists, The Red Carpet for Social Justice event held on March 15, was another opportunity for 1199 women to come together in celebration and solidarity.

Ana Medina, an 1199 home care Delegate who emigrated from Mexico as a child and gained her U.S. citizenship just last year, attended both events — each time in a separate, elaborate costume.

1199 Mag Women of the World Unite stacked.png“As women, our lives are filled with both the good and the bad. And sometimes, we are not as well appreciated as we should be,” the South Bronx resident said. “Coming together in solidarity helps us to remember that we do have the power to change sexist ideas.”

Bertha Motta, a home care Delegate with the Personal Touch and Sunnyside agencies, attended both events as well, and greatly enjoyed donning traditional garb representative of her native homeland of Peru.

“It was wonderful to see old friends, see the beautiful costumes, and share food with a community of women,” Nina Howes, recently retired RN Delegate from Mount Sinai Beth Israel, said.

Caroline Trim Ishola, a fellow 1199 retiree and former Greenwich House counselor in Manhattan, couldn’t agree more.

“We need to make sure we always support each other,” she said. “It is important for me to show younger folks how this is done. Solidarity matters.”