Voz Workers' Rights Education
Voz is a worker-led organization that empowers diverse day laborers and immigrants to improve their working conditions and protect civil rights through leadership development, organizing, education and economic opportunity.
Bottom Line for Portland
Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project is the only organization in the state of Oregon working with the day laborer community. Day laborers are temporary workers, many of them immigrants, many of them homeless, many of them facing multiple barriers to long-term employment. We build leadership and economic power in this community through economic empowerment, leadership development, and grassroots organizing. Voz has almost 20 years of experience organizing day laborers in Portland, and we are a founding member of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which includes over 70 Worker Centers around the country. Voz believes that sustainable and transformative social justice work must be led by the communities most affected. At Voz, we model this philosophy by striving to be a fully worker-led organization, and by empowering Portland day laborers not just through economic opportunities, but through opportunities to become leaders in their community. The day laborer community is a diverse group of leaders and organizers from around the world, who bring their skills, knowledge and life experiences to our struggle for a better future for immigrant workers in Portland.
“The center is a bridge to finding stable jobs. Here, if someone wants to work, they can. My experience here has been one of learning --- how to paint, a little bit of English. I didn’t have the opportunity to go to school, so I learnt all the English I know here.” Jose de Jesus, Labor Worker
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Economic empowerment Day laborers face multiple barriers to stable, dignified, and fair employment. We provide direct economic empowerment opportunities by connecting day laborers to jobs at the MLK Jr. Worker Center. We offer accessible workforce development opportunities that build skills and knowledge so that day laborers can earn higher wages and achieve long-term economic stability. Leadership development We believe that lasting and transformative social change must come from community members on the front lines. Voz was founded by day laborers organizing themselves for better working conditions on the street corners, and we stay true to our roots by continuing to build new community leaders, and by operating a worker-led organization. Grassroots organizing Justice for day laborers is a community struggle! We mobilize community members in defense of immigrant and worker rights by organizing teams of rapid responders and legal observers, and by demanding that public officials pass legislation that protects and empowers workers and immigrants.