The University of Rhode Island (URI) hosted Saru Jayaraman as a speaker at the university's Honors Colloquium, titled "Inequality and the American Dream," on Oct. 25.
a food labor researcher at the University of California-Berkeley and the co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, of which she is also
During her speech, Jayaraman discussed the impact of
low-wage, tip-based employment on women and minorities in Edwards Hall on URI's
"Seventy percent of tipped workers in America are
women, and disproportionately women of color," she said.
"They face the worst sexual
harassment of any industry because they have to tolerate inappropriate customer
behavior to earn their income in tips."
Jayaraman cofounded the Restaurant Opportunities Centers
United with other workers from the World Trade Center who were displaced due to
the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The organization now has more than 18,000
"We founded Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
after the terror attacks of Sept. 11 together with displaced World Trade
Center restaurant workers as a relief center," Jayaraman said. "It quickly grew into so much more
as a result of demand — there had never been a center for restaurant workers
before in New York City."
Organizations in this story
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