Based in the SF Bay Area, MUA is a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women with a double mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice. Given that the Latina immigrant woman experiences the intersections of gender, race and class oppression, their leadership is key to the development of sharp strategies for the social justice movement.
MUA achieves its mission through a combination of strategies, including:
- Direct Services & Mutual Support: MUA's immigrant leaders & staff offer 1:1 peer support & group counseling, referrals & accompaniment to other community resources, domestic violence & sexual assault intervention
- Community Education & Training: MUA strengthens community members' economic security & leadership through ESL classes, workers' rights education, & job readiness training workshops for Latina immigrant Childcare Providers, Housecleaners, & Home Healthcare Attendants
- Member Empowerment & Leadership Development: Through political education workshops & leadership trainings, MUA members find their voices, make links between personal problems & broader social & economic injustices, recognize their own strengths, & build community & collective power
- Community Organizing: Working in diverse alliances on the local, regional, national & international levels, MUA provides critical leadership & mobilizes their base in campaigns to win immigrant, workers' & women's rights
MUA allows Latinas to engage in pressing national issues, such as:
- Immigrant Rights
- Domestic Worker Rights
- Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Support
- Anti-Human Trafficking
- Language Access
- Civic Engagement
Enma Delgado's Story
Immigrated from El Salvador to the U.S. in 2003. Since the age of 12, she was a domestic worker, working in homes and taking care of children or patients. Due to her need to work, she could not attain an education until she was already working. Once she came to San Francisco, she had been looking for work, but she did not find job search help in MUA. However, she saw that she enjoyed the services MUA offered her, so she decided to stay.
Enma began as a MUA base member and then became an intern in a human trafficking committee there. After 16 years with MUA, she is currently the Immigrant Rights Organizer at MUA. She organizes Know Your Rights workshops and discussions. Although MUA does not offer direct legal services, as part of SFILEN (a collaboration network of organizations), she can give references to attorneys and legal services organizations in the Bay Area.
Enma recounted Vilma's Story:
Vilma had been a houseworker at a home for 8 years. She was working and living with them because she took care of the children, the house cleaning, etc. She was working 14-16 hour days and not being paid well enough for that amount of labor. Then, they ended up terminating her after the 8 years. Vilma learned from the news that people, mainly women, were fighting for domestic worker rights and decided to seek help.
Vilma helped mobilize dozens of workers to march and demand for rights, those that Vilma deserved. In deciding to sue her employers and mobilize the marches, this case brought much attention to the plight of domestic workers.
Although previous versions of a Domestic Worker Bill were vetoed by former governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the fight continued and they formulated new versions. The Domestic Worker Bill of Rights was passed for 3 years beforehand. Now, the CA Domestic Workers Bill of Rights was established permanently in 2016 by former Governor Jerry Brown. This law extends overtime protection for domestic home workers.