“To effectively eradicate inequality, it is crucial to recognize the significance of empowerment.

Weixiang Chen is a Chinese labor researcher working to boost workers’ confidence, resilience, and legal capacity. He founded a nonprofit organization that helped sanitation workers with issues related to their wages, their right to work, and their ability to survive legally and with dignity. He is also a PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, researching economic inequality and labor rights in China.

Weixiang has been helping migrant workers in China since 2011. He works to train the next generation of labor advocates, increase the social visibility of migrant workers, and advance the rights and voices of workers to ensure they can shape and improve their working conditions in China. He believes worker empowerment is key to addressing social inequality.

Weixiang believes that it is crucial to unlock and inspire workers’ agency so they can lead their own strategies for achieving equality. He views workers as the primary actors in their struggles and believes they are essential sources of knowledge to produce social change. His training as a medical doctor has given him a more holistic view of what is needed to create a society where workers experience dignity and stability and historically disadvantaged communities are respected and emboldened.