Worker Empowerment

Our Social Change Philosophy  – VOZ believes that in order to have immigration and labor movements that achieve social change, immigrant workers must be at the forefront as leaders. Immigrant workers have first-hand experience with the oppressive nature of our current system and are currently excluded from many decision-making processes. VOZ is an organization that allows these immigrant workers to be involved at every step of the planning, prioritizing, and decision-making in our organization. To empower workers, we use the follow strategies:

Organizing: We bring day laborers together in committees to solve the problems they face. Examples of our organizing committeees have included a committee to build bridges with loccal police and a committee to negotiate with the Cully neighborhood. We have organized to solve many problems over the years. Learn more about our organizing work.

Cultural Expression thru art and music.  Day laborers have created visual art, poetry and plays to share their stories about injustice and to open discussions with each other and the broader community. The Jornaleros del norte, for example, sing songs about their experiences. See some of the art and writing of Portland’s day laborers.

Education classes and  workshops : Voz offers many different educational classes for day laborers. Many of our classes are based on a Popular Education methodology, born in Latin America. We encourage people to develop their own analysis of the causes and solutions to their problems. Our classes have included:

  • English classes
  • How to negotiate with an employer
  • “Know your Rights” workshops with the police or immigration
  • History of the union movement
  • Health classes

Learn more about Voz’ classes.