Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to a Kenyan mother and a European-American father, Joy Zarembka holds a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University and was awarded the Fox International Fellowship to Cambridge University. She has researched interracial families in Britain, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Jamaica. She currently works in Washington, D.C. as the executive director of the Break The Chain Campaign at the Institute for Policy Studies, an organization working to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking in the United States.
As executive director, she conducts interviews with migrant women from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe who have been trafficked, enslaved, or exploited while working in the domestic worker industry in the United States. She provides legal, health, and social services and referrals to domestic workers by assembling a coalition of lawyers, social workers, translators/interpreters, doctors, and shelters equipped to take these trafficking and exploitative cases. Zarembka employs a holistic method to assist trafficked and exploited individuals, combining outreach, organizing, direct service, and legal assistance with ongoing negotiations with international agencies and embassies, Congressional and legislative advocacy, media work, training, and preparation of materials in various languages. She also coordinates public education events, media coverage, strategy meetings, and research on trafficking and worker exploitation. She has been instrumental in the creation of the Freedom Network (USA), a nationwide rapid-response coalition that works to ensure that all enslaved and trafficked persons in the United States are able to enforce their legal and human rights.
Her new book, The Pigment of Your Imagination: “Mixed Race” in a Global Society, came out in March of this year.