BLF’s 2011-2012 Fellow Lydia Edwards, who is working at the Brazilian Immigrant Center in Allston, MA, recently secured a grant from the Miller Foundation to support her Domestic Worker Mediation Project. The grant will pay for the training of domestic workers and progressive employers in the co-mediation model to help mediate workplace disputes between domestic workers and the families who they work for. One of the goals of the project is to build capacity and worker leaders who will be able to one day teach mediation to other workers in a number of different languages, including Haitian, Creole, Spanish and Portuguese.
Lydia is also working with nine clients, drafting contracts for live-in domestic workers, and giving workshops at churches and other local organizations. She is also working to organize the first annual Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers convention this spring which will bring together domestic workers from around the state to get their leadership and input on a local campaign for a domestic workers bill of rights and a national campaign to provide a pathway to citizenship and fill the care gap.