Edith Sargon is facilitator, trainer, and organizer. She is the Deputy Director of Programs and Organizational Development at Forward Together.
Before becoming an independent consultant and a supporting trainer of Move to End Violence, Edith worked for Wellstone since 2007, most recently as Wellstone’s Executive Director. Prior to becoming ED, Edith was the Director of Impact for Wellstone, where she guided the strategic direction for our program team and led our crew of political leadership, movement building, and movement technology practitioners to win progressive change across the country, the Wellstone Way. Edith also directs the Sheila Wellstone Institute, which continues Wellstone’s commitment to building power and engaging broad community support to ensure that ending violence against women and children is a national priority.
Edith has been with Wellstone since 2007, first as a trainer and then as the holder of many key relationships with our movement and labor partners, including the Michigan Education Association, California Federation of Teachers, and Clark County Education Association as they faced Right to Work battles and challenges in both building their members’ power while creating a public education system that centers kids and communities.
The year 2000 was a milestone year for Edith. First, she came out as queer to herself, her friends, and to her college campus. Second, she organized to defeat discriminatory California propositions 21 and 22. Proposition 21 was a measure that legalized the racial profiling of young people and made it so youth could be tried as adults in court. Proposition 22 stated that “marriage is between a man and a woman.” Students of color, including Edith, worked to stop Proposition 21 and white LGBT students worked to stop Proposition 22. They both passed. All across the state, proposition proponents successfully divided and conquered. This experience set her on a path of organizing across constituencies to make movements stronger and more strategic.
Prior to Wellstone Action, Edith Sargon worked as an organizer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for five years. During her time there, she developed a knack for strategy and organizing, and learned the importance of leadership. Those five years were the equivalent of a degree in the political and economic history of Los Angeles and California through the experiences and political struggles of working people and immigrant communities.
Edith put her strategy and organizing expertise to work as the Field Director for Choice USA, a national pro-choice organization based in Washington, D.C. She developed the field strategy for over 25 chapters and developed campaigns around sex education, birth control, and health care reform. She brought a distinct perspective to her work as Field Director, developing both the organizing capacity of the organization, and its reproductive justice framework. Her experience as an organizer, a queer woman of color, and a child of immigrants and working-class parents helps her recognize and strategize around interconnected issues. In 2011, she helped convene hundreds of parents in Los Angeles and mobilized them to advocate for key policy changes in education while she was Program Officer in Education and Youth Development at United Way.