Green Festival Speakers

Hilary Abell



Abell is Executive Director of WAGES (Womens Action to Gain Economic Security), a nonprofit organization that has created three successful ecofriendly housecleaning cooperatives in the San Francisco Bay Area that provide good incomes, leadership opportunities, and healthy working conditions for the Latina immigrant women who own them, while
protecting the environment and the health of their clients: NaturalHome Cleaning in the East Bay, Emmas EcoClean on the Peninsula, andEcoCare Professional Housecleaning, serving San Jose and the SouthBay. WAGES has plans to expand its unique model of social enterprisethroughout the Bay Area.

Before coming to WAGES in 2003, Hilary worked on a range of socialjustice issues including Fair Trade, environmental health, andimmigrant rights. She was an early leader of the Fair Trade movement inthe US, both as Farmer Representative for Equal Exchange and asDevelopment Director of TransFair USA. Hilarys visits during the 1990sto farmer coops in El Salvador, Peru, and Colombia inspired hercommitment to cooperative development and taught her the tremendousvalue of sustainable agriculture, alternative trade, and projects thatgive us space to dream. She considers it an honor to bring theselessons home to the Bay Area and work with local women who aretransforming their lives through WAGES cooperatives.