Vietnamese immigrants and refugees make up the majority of the workforce in the nail salon industry in California. As part of AAAM’s programming for Asian American Heritage Month, we wanted to uplift the experiences of the Vietnamese American nail salon workers in their resistance and persistence toward reforms in cosmetic product regulations and workplace safety!

On April 28, 2022, nail salon workers Tina Bui and Mong Thu Pham, who gave testimonies before state and local policy-making bodies, spoke about their experiences and answered questions from Marin county residents on live Zoom. Tony Nguyen, the Outreach & Digital Organizing Coordinator from the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, shared more about the the state bills the Collaborative has helped pass, and the results of the Collaborative’s recent survey.

Founded in 2005, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative is a statewide grassroots organization that addresses health, environmental, reproductive justice, and other social issues faced by its low-income, female, Vietnamese immigrant and refugee workforce. Using a multi-tiered approach that blends community organizing, grassroots policy advocacy, and community-based research, the Collaborative builds power of the nail salon community to develop solutions that benefit the nail salon workforce, their families, small immigrant and refugee owned businesses, and their communities.

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