Seri Lee (they/she) is a community organizer, movement worker, and child of the Korean diaspora. Born and raised in the Chicago area, they grew up in a working-class mixed-status household, experiencing personally and within their family many of the issues they're working to structurally transform: gender-based violence, healthcare inequity, housing insecurity, economic injustice, and the military/prison-industrial complex. Five years ago, Seri began organizing, first as a volunteer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and then as a Civic Engagement Leader with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. Starting as a sophomore in college, they organized on campus and across universities to departmentalize ethnic studies programs. That year, Seri also founded Students Organizing for Labor Rights (SOLR) to build student-labor solidarity and organize student leadership within the inter/national labor movement. For the next two years, SOLR won campaigns alongside service workers to protect labor rights, ran citywide mutual aid projects, and mobilized thousands of community members in our work. In 2018, Seri began working as the Chicago Organizer at the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), then as the National Field Engagement Organizer, National Organizing Manager, and now as the National Campaign & Membership Director, building power with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities to advance reproductive justice in our 8 chapters across the United States. Seri graduated magna cum laude at Northwestern University in 2020, with majors in Global History and Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies. They dream of and work toward collective liberation.
The Vanguard Award honors a young leader under 30 years of age, whose work is already impacting women and girls and shows great promise for the future.
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