Ashley Bachelder serves as the Interim Co-Director of Workers' Dignity Dignidad Obrera and is a PhD student at Vanderbilt University. After participating in and writing about a successful community organizing effort to stop the displacement of hundreds of families through eminent domain abuses, she began a career in research and teaching focused on how the research process can contribute to grassroots community organizing movements. Workers' Dignity is a worker-led center organizing for economic justice and developing solutions to rampant wage theft and the systemic labor and worker abuses in Nashville by building relationships among low-wage workers and allies. As a doctoral student in Vanderbilt University's Community Research and Action program, Ashley is working with leading public health foundations to explore the ways that community power creates and enhances conditions for health equity.
Prior to moving to Nashville, Ashley served as the Community Liaison and an Instructor for several years at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health. In her role, she supported the development of community-academic partnerships, provided community engagement technical assistance to faculty and researchers, and co-taught courses on health disparities, social determinants of health, and public policy. She was a member of Arkansas Community Organizations, where she learned skills as a community organizer herself and worked on campaigns to improve low-income housing conditions and to strengthen public education.
Ashley is an active member of many social justice groups in Nashville, including the Middle Tennessee chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and Nashville Organized for Action and Hope. She received a Master in Public Health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and a Master in Public Service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. She grew up in a small western Massachusetts town, but considers herself a southerner after living, working, and learning in the region for a decade.