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Know Your Rights
Category: Workplace Justice

🏅Excluded workers receive prestigious Four Freedoms award!

  • Jose Lopez Co-Executive Director
  • Arlenis Morel Co-Executive Director
  • Theo Oshiro Co-Executive Director

We have exciting news to share!

Yesterday, The Roosevelt Institute honored 4 undocumented immigrant women, two of whom are Make the Road NY members, with their highly prestigious Four Freedoms award. This is the first time undocumented people have received this award.

Rubiela Correa and Sonia PĂ©rez Garcia (Make the Road NY members) and Maria Isabel Sierra and Sixta Leon Barrita (New York Communities for Change members) fought to secure the historic $2.1 billion Excluded Workers Fund in New York.

The fund provided emergency income for undocumented workers, such as street vendors, domestic workers and others who had been excluded from unemployment benefits, despite contributing to these systems. While many have received support, we’re now fighting for another round of funding of $3 billion to ensure all who are eligible get what they need and deserve.

Sonia PĂ©rez Garcia, a long time street vendor (also a member of The Street Vendor Project) served champurrado (a warm Mexican chocolate-based atole) on the frontlines, led community meetings and mobilized vendors across New York City into this fight.

Last night, while receiving the award Sonia said: “We as immigrants are a very important force in this country. The nicest thing about winning tonight is knowing the strength of immigrants in this country, and knowing that you can help others in your community without being afraid. I am honored and blessed to receive this great award that has never been given to undocumented immigrant women.”

This year, the 24 Make the Road NY members who led the hunger strike to bring long-awaited relief for New York’s immigrant workers will be honored at our 2021 Dignity, Community and Power Awards Gala. Join them online on Wednesday, November 10 at 6 PM. RSVP now.

The Four Freedoms Awards are presented each year to people whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to principles which President Roosevelt proclaimed  essential to democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear. Past recipients include Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Coretta Scott King, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II.

Congratulations to Rubiela, Sonia, Maria and Sixta on this very well-deserved award. Your fight has inspired people across New York State and the nation.

¡Sí se pudo!