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IWW Sato Fund

THE IWW SATO FUND, AND YOU!

Fellow Workers! If you’re looking for travel cost assistance in order to attend an IWW training, event, or meeting, the Sato Fund might be your ticket! Please review the information below carefully to see if the Sato Fund applies to you. If so, please contact us at gec@iww.org to get started on the application process! Please be aware that all applications to the Sato Fund must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the IWW event you will be attending.

The Sato Fund was established to memorialize FW Charlene “Charlie” Sato, an IWW member and activist who died in 1996 after a long battle with cancer. As a professor of pidgin and creole language studies at the University of Hawai’i, Charlie often was at the forefront of promoting the rights of aboriginal peoples to use their language in educational and public settings. After her death, the IWW established the Sato Fund, which was originally intended to “help women with travel costs in order to attend the General Assembly”. The union is proud to continue with this tradition of promoting gender diversity throughout our major decision making and strategy building gatherings. This is accomplished by materially aiding fellow workers with their travel costs (including air/train/bus fare, as well as fuel costs) incurred in order to participate in these events. The IWW recognizes that designations of sex and gender identity are not always mutually compatible. By this, we mean that a fellow worker may have been assigned a sex at birth (usually by a doctor or by their parents) such as “male” or “female,” but they may later come into realization that their personal identification of sex or gender differs from their assigned sex. As a result, a fellow worker may choose to transition in a way that helps them actualize their true identity. They might do this by transforming their dress, behavior, lifestyle, or body. Some people might identify with a gender norm different from the one associated with their assigned sex (transgender), and the identity of others might fail to conform with any gender norms (gender non-conforming). All of these people face personal exclusion and safety risks in public, at school, at workplaces, in the family, and in positions of power. Active and passive occurrences of discrimination of these populations are referred to as transphobia. Similarly, for fellow workers who were assigned the sex of “female” at birth and who continue to self-identify as women, called cis-gender women, the union notes the continued presence of inequality which permeates all aspects of our class. The domination by cis-gender men (male-assigned people who identify as men) of societal institutions, including government, workplace, and family, is referred to as sexism. The IWW views sexism and transphobia as prohibitors of working class unity, and as such, must make efforts to eradicate them within our organization if we are to effectively confront the power of the capitalist class. The Sato Fund helps to accomplish this by providing cis-gender women, transgender women and men, and gender non-conforming fellow workers with travel funding in order to increase their representation and participation throughout the union.

 To apply for funding through the sato fund please fill out the application 30 days in advance of the event you wish to attend.