21 October 2009

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Presents Award to Domestic Workers United

Congratulations to Ms. Foundation grantee Domestic Workers United! On October 15, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Presented Domestic Workers United (DWU) with the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

DWU is a grassroots organization of Caribbean, Latina and African nannies, housekeepers and elderly caregivers which has led the groundbreaking campaign for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in New York and is at the forefront of a national movement for domestic workers' rights. In presenting the award to DWU, Secretary Solis revealed her own connection to this critical labor rights struggle: “My mother first came to this country as a nanny for a family." She congratulated the group on their accomplishments and noted the importance of visibility for the workforce.

DWU was honored alongside La Mesa Nacional Frente a la Minería Metálica en El Salvador (the National Roundtable on Mining in El Salvador) which successfully mobilized to press El Salvador to become the first country in the world to ban gold mining, decried for its devastating impact on rural communities and the environment.

Each year, IPS honors fallen colleagues and recognizes new champions of human rights in the United States and Latin America in the name of Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and American Ronni Karpen Moffitt. Letelier and Moffitt were killed by a car bomb set off by agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet on September 21, 1976 in Washington, DC.

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