Damayan believes that labor abuses are rooted in an unjust economic system and genuine change can only happen when the workers who are directly affected get organized and become leaders to change this reality. Guided by this principle, Damayan focuses on grassroots organizing and developing worker’s leadership. Through our Workers Academy, workers take the first steps to becoming social justice leaders. They gain deeper understanding about human and labor rights and learn effective organizing strategies to combat labor trafficking. They acquire leadership skills and work as part of a community to defend their rights and demand just working conditions. Workers also have the opportunity to upgrade their job skills through our workforce development and occupational safety workshops.
In September of 2015, we launched our first office-cleaning cooperative to improve the economic opportunities of our members and explore new revenue streams to support our organizing work. This social enterprise has already created better paying jobs and provided financial stability for trafficking survivors.