THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST IN VOZ!
Here are our current volunteer needs, get in touch via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details, responsibilities, skills needed and applications.
MLK Jr Worker Center: Dispatching
Description and why it is important: The MLK Jr Worker Center is a non-commission hire site that assists both workers in finding decent jobs and employers in finding great workers. We provide interpretation between Spanish and English and make sure that each worker is qualified for the job. The day laborers at the Worker Center are men and women of all trades and experiences. They are workers who are committed members of our community and many of them are engaged in the leadership of our organization. The Worker Center hosts morning raffles and registration for workers, valuable skills trainings, mandatory health and safety trainings, labor, immigrant rights and leadership development workshops and other community events. Volunteers work with the Worker Center staff, day laborers, and other volunteers.
MLK Jr Worker Center: ESL
Description and why it is important: ESL classes play an essential role in accomplishing our goals for workforce development at the MLK Jr Worker Center. English classes are taught at the Worker Center almost every day. Each of the classes has a particular theme and learning objective, which is reviewed and changed every four weeks. The curriculum is flexible, designed to offer both learning progress for returning students and to meet the learning needs of one-time students. English language skills are extremely valuable and so this is a critically important educational aspect of our work at the Worker Center. Volunteers work under the guidance of our ESL Coordinator.
MLK Jr Worker Center: Wage Theft Clinic
Description and why it is important: Wage theft is the pervasive and ongoing illegal practice of not paying workers for some or all of their work. Voz provides assistance and support to workers who are not paid by their employers. To date, Voz has helped workers recover over $600,000 in unpaid wages. The wage theft program consists of a team of volunteers and pro bono attorneys who work to attend to incidents of wage theft among local day laborers and other immigrant workers. We are responsible for intake of clients with wage theft claims and maintaining contact with both claimants and the employers from whom claimants are seeking reparations. This component of Voz’ wage theft program has been key in continuing the process of making sure that day laborers have legal means for their grievances.
MLK Jr Worker Center: Marketing
Description and why it is important: Marketing assistants work directly with the MLK Jr. Worker Center Coordinator to bring more employers to the Worker Center. This is important because it directly benefits Day Laborers by connecting them with more opportunities for employment.
Description and why it is important: The objective of our Internal Organizing program is to empower Day Laborers, develop their leadership skills, and generate solidarity and union values through the leadership development school, know-your-rights workshops, cultivating connections/relationships with Day Laborers, and other art/cultural and sports activities.
External Organizing: OJO
Description and why it is important: Day Laborers are prime targets for potential anti-immigrant protests, hate crimes, police harassment and/or ICE raids nationwide. OJO stands for Observadores de Jornaleros de Oregon (Oregon Observers of Day Laborers) and is a group of volunteer Legal Observers that monitor threats made by police, ICE and anti-immigrant groups towards Day Laborers at our MLK Worker Center. Day Laborers have been welcoming and have expressed their gratitude to the OJO participants for their support.
External Organizing: Oregon Coalition to Stop Wage Theft
Description and why it is important: Wage theft is the pervasive and ongoing illegal practice of not paying workers for some or all of their work. The Oregon Coalition to Stop Wage Theft is a growing group of organizations from labor, faith, small-business, immigrant, and legal communities that are working to combat the crisis of wage theft in Oregon. The coalition is working for stronger laws and firm enforcement of those laws by advocating for legislative changes and collaborating closely with government agencies and community advocates that hold unlawful employers accountable. Through outreach and education they are also working to foster stronger communities that are better equipped to organize against and prevent wage theft.
External Organizing: Building the Dream Campaign
Description and why it is important: This campaign’s goal is to acquire a more permanent building at the Martin Luther King Jr Worker Center site. We believe that the future success of Portland’s day laborer movement demands a stable and suitable facility to operate from. The campaign involves a negotiation process between Day Laborers and Prosper Portland, an agency of the City of Portland.
Program description and why it is important: Events are important to mobilize the community, build allies and raise funds and other resources that help us fulfill our mission. Voz organizes, or is part of organizing, cultural events such as Day of the Dead and Guadalupe, large rallies and marches such as May Day, and fundraising events such as the annual dinner. Volunteers can assist in planning events or help on the day of the event.
Program description and why it is important: The primary objective of staff and volunteers in Development is fundraising. It is an essential part of the work that Voz does, because it connects us to the resources that we need in order to creatively and effectively work toward realizing our mission. The fundamental component to most of the work carried out by the development team deals with the presentation of Voz’ image in the community, and includes certain aspects of marketing. Voz is funded primarily through grants, fundraising events, and one-time donors and Vozistas (dedicated/committed donors). A major ongoing objective of our development team is to grow our grassroots base of donors and volunteers, and attain more sustainable sources of funding.
Program description and why it is important: General office work is necessary to the organized functioning and coordination of all of the operations of Voz. Because it is such a crucial element to carrying out our mission, volunteer support is needed on an ongoing basis.
Flyering and phone banking:
There is a monthly orientation and event called #dayofserVOZ when all volunteers, day laborers, staff, and friends of VOZ spend the day getting to know one another and visiting neighborhoods in Portland to flyer. Volunteers are also needed to call current or previous employers to conduct a surveys and improve the overall experience. This is a perfect way for volunteers who do not have much spare time, but would really like to volunteer in some way.
Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project
1131 SE Oak St
Portland, OR 97214