Biography: 

Diane R. Pagen has been a social worker for New York City and a social policy analyst for fourteen years. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Diane has lived in Paris, New York, San Juan, and Sevilla. Diane grew up in Woodside Houses in Queens and later in Lefrak City, Queens, and went to NYC public schools, including the High School of Art and Design. She received her BA in languages from the Universidad de Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. Thanks to four years in Puerto Rico and one in Spain, she is fluent in Spanish. After six years in the workforce, she went back to school and got an MSW from Fordham University. During that time, she was privileged to be mentored by and work with welfare expert and activist Theresa Funiciello from 2000 to 2008, where they worked on activism to get the Child Tax Credit made refundable starting at $0. Together they co-wrote and produced a comic book, The Adventures of Carrie Giver: The Cost of Caring in 2007. Diane is a co-founding member of Basic Income Action and Basic Income NYC and working to build the Universal Basic Income movement with other committed people. She writes about poverty and her experiences in social work and society, and makes presentations about the diversion of welfare block grants away from low-income people, and is meeting with people who are interested in stopping the systematic dismantling of the U.S. safety net. One of her presentations on welfare block grants is available atwww.dianepagen.com. She has been a social worker in a public hospital; in a pre-school; in psychiatry; and in a shelter for homeless families; and currently is a social worker for the NYC public schools. Between 2012 and 2014, she was unemployed and underemployed. Diane is working on a chapter for a forthcoming book, Political Activism and a Basic Income Guarantee, which is being edited by Larry Liu and Richard Caputo of Yeshiva University and will be published in 2021.