The Clinic, WeCount!, Miami Workers Center, and Community Justice Project are the joint recipients of a grant to support low-wage immigrant women workers in South Florida who have experienced workplace sexual misconduct or related retaliation.
The coalition will use the grant to collectively initiate a new project, Voces Unidas/VWA Ini: Building a Local Movement to End Workplace Sexual Harassment and Violence against Low-Wage Immigrant Women Workers in South Florida.
The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which is housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center Fund, awarded eighteen grants to organizations around the country to build on its commitment to support survivors of sexual harassment and retaliation across all industries and connect them to attorneys and public relations experts.
The goal of the Voces Unidas/Vwa Ini Project is twofold: to increase public awareness about the disproportionate impact of workplace sexual harassment and violence on low-wage immigrant women workers in South Florida, including domestic workers, farmworkers, and plant nursery workers, and to connect these low-wage immigrant women workers to information, resources, and campaigns, so they can help themselves and other workers end the problem.
“While the #MeToo movement has made important and necessary strides to change the public discourse around sexual harassment and assault across the United States, the unique hardships of women of color in low-wage industries have often been pushed to the sidelines in public discourse. We have been pleased to see Time’s Up and other allies centering the most marginalized survivors, and we developed the Voces Unidas/Vwa Ini Project in that spirit,” said Professor Caroline Bettinger-López, director of the University of Miami Human Rights Clinic, and former senior advisor to Vice President Joe Biden on Violence Against Women.
“The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund believes that no worker at any job should ever have to endure abuse for a paycheck,” said Sharyn Tejani, Director of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. “We want all survivors to know that there are available resources to help them deal with sexual misconduct. The projects awarded today have the potential to change lives, and I could not be more excited for the work that lies ahead.”
The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund received more than 120 applications for these funds. The applications proposed a broad range of diverse public engagement projects, including those offering targeted resources for Latinx workers, Asian immigrants, transgender workers, domestic workers, farmworkers, retail workers, restaurant workers, hotel workers, poultry workers and more.
Awardees were determined based on organizations’ community ties, planned outreach to low-wage workers in target populations, demonstrated commitment to advocacy on behalf of workers’ rights—and with attention to geographic distribution across the United States and diversity in populations served.