“Roma Guy lives her life in a profound and peaceful way. Her strategic vision, strength, and wisdom help to build a world that fully embraces everyone.” Diane Sabin
Roma Pauline Guy, a social justice activist and policy leader in public health, women’s rights, poverty, and homelessness, has worked all her adult life to improve conditions for women. She helped found the San Francisco Women’s Building, and developed community-based institutions including a battered women’s shelter and a family resource center. Coauthor of “Historical Perspectives on Homelessness, The Police and the Homeless”, she has helped to redefine housing as a public health issue and has developed an innovative curriculum at San Francisco State University.
Roma is the eldest child of a rural Franco-American working-class family of eight children living on the US/Canadian border. She was educated in public schools and universities (University of Maine, Orono, Maine; Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan) and worked for nine years in the West African countries of Ivory Coast, Togo, Niger, and Mali. Beginning in middle school, Roma learned what it takes to transform an idea into collective action. Whether it was organizing peers into softball and basketball school yard games, creating a history club, or leading antiwar groups, Roma began early to develop skills that would help her bridge the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic divides that often plague US women’s rights efforts. In 1995, Roma and several longtime women’s and human rights leaders formed the California Women’s Agenda, where she advocates for universal culturally and linguistically competent healthcare and reproductive rights. Roma focuses on the socioeconomic justice relationships of wealth and poverty: land use/taxation and community building/democracy. She protests wars of occupation and the consequences of displacement resulting in homelessness, criminalizing immigrant populations, and worldwide sexual slavery. She advocates for human rights priorities in electoral politics, especially universal healthcare, equality and safety in public education, and affordable housing. She has consistently challenged racism and class privilege within the women’s movement and has struggled to make the movement inclusive and part of a broadening human rights agenda. In higher education at San Francisco State University, she has developed innovative curricula that link values, skills, and public accountability.
San Francisco State University Women’s and Girls Network California Women’s Agenda
Northern America | United States of America