Diana Painter, Coalition For Social Justice
It was the year 2000, and Diana Painter was working at a menswear company in Los Angeles. One day, she began talking with a coworker named Rosa while helping her practice English. Through their conversation, Diana learned that Rosa had to pay $8 roundtrip every day to ride the bus to work and back as her only means of transportation. Diana was appalled to learn that the company didn’t cover this cost, and only paid Rosa $20 per day on top of that. When Diana approached her supervisor about this, he replied, “It’s her fault for crossing the border.” Horrified, the wheels started turning in Diana’s head. She thought about the company’s sweatshops where young people were working tirelessly in the California heat for only $5 per hour. She reflected on her family’s past of fostering kids with disabilities and how her parents taught her from a young age, “if you can stand up for somebody, you do it.”
Diana knew she had to do something to address these social justice issues. A graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, Diana went back to school for a degree in Anthropology. Since then, she has worked nonstop to advocate for social justice issues. She is incredibly passionate about fighting poverty and empowering women. An Idaho native, Diana moved to the SouthCoast in 2013. Since then, she has worked for the Community Foundation, the Marion Institute, Bristol Community College, Main Street Alliance, and the Women’s Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts. Currently, Diana is the Executive Assistant and Small Business Organizer at the Coalition for Social Justice. She works in nonprofit management, community organizing, policy work, communications, and financial policy. Her favorite aspect of working at the Coalition for Social Justice is the volunteers who give their time to the organization. Diana said that she loves “working with people who are acting with their hearts.”
When asked about her community, Diana said that she would define her social circle as “super gay.” She expressed how the activist community is sometimes flat, and shared that her personal goal is to make politics fun again. “Making collective decisions about how our world is going to work together should be fun,” she said. Whether it be on a personal or professional level, Diana emanates creativity, authenticity, and sincerity. On a professional level, one of Diana’s proudest accomplishments was receiving an award from the Environmental Protection Agency for her work with a group on climate change in the SouthCoast. On a personal level, Diana said that she’s proud of herself for recently finding a Dr. Who map and, using fan lore to create a fake planet, turning it into a 3-D globe. “It’s a one of a kind item that is super nerdy but awesome,” she explained. Looking forward, Diana is excited to learn more about the Womxn’s Alliance, and she is compelled to explore the topic of political strategy after reading the book Master of the Senate. “How do you take a vision and recognize that there are a lot of moving parts?” she wondered out loud. Diana Painter is fueled by her passion for social justice and her compassion for people. Her work in the SouthCoast region is vital to ensuring a just and equitable community for all people, and her voice is greatly valued on the Womxn’s Alliance!