Organizing Model

DWU has adopted an organizing model that centers itself on the development of strong, low-income immigrant women of color leaders who have the drive, training and sensitivity to lead the greater movement for social change. DWU’s organizing model includes 6 areas of work: membership basebuilding, leadership development, grassroots organizing campaigns (including campaigns for justice for individual workers seeking justice and strategic policy campaigns for labor standards), organizational development, culture and communications, and alliances.  

Basebuilding: Our strength comes from our members. DWU members do outreach everyday in parks, playgrounds, churches, and the street. In 2010, we launched our Ambassadors Program, an innovative strategy to organize workers on their “shop floor” – in the neighborhoods where they live and work. The Ambassadors serve as the primary contacts for domestic workers in their respective neighborhoods, and are equipped to provide them with information, report abuses, and lay the groundwork for collective standard setting with area employers.  

Leadership Development:  This area of work is designed to provide domestic workers with the tools and training they need to protect their own rights in the face of two employers, and to help guide our campaign and overall organizing work.  

Grassroots Organizing Campaigns: Through our campaigns, we push for labor protections for all domestic workers, and defend domestic workers whose rights have been violated.  We take collective action to pass local, state, and national legislation that will protect this vulnerable workforce that still does not have the right to unionize.

Culture & Communications: Through music, performance, story telling, and public broadcasting, we build unity among our diverse membership and raise consciousness in general about the conditions that domestic workers face.  

Alliances: As a movement-building organization, DWU always seeks opportunities to build alliances and strategic partnerships, because we believe that by connecting our struggles to those of others, we are building a movement to end oppression and exploitation once and for all.  

Organizational Development: We need a sound, stable organizational structure and systems, including multilingual capacity building, to hold a broad-based membership organization together and support its growth. We work to build the capacity of our board, staff and membership – composed primarily of domestic workers – to effectively lead DWU.


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