TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund Awards $750,000 to Organizations Serving Low-Wage Workers Who Experience Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Grants will go toward raising awareness of the resources available to survivors of sexual harassment and supporting them as they come forward.
(Washington, D.C) – The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund awarded $750,000 in grants today to support 18 nonprofit organizations across the country serving low-wage workers who have experienced sexual harassment and related retaliation in the workplace. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which is housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center Fund (NWLCF), awarded these grants to build on the Fund’s central commitment to support survivors of sexual harassment and retaliation across all industries and connect them to attorneys and public relations experts.
The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund received more than 120 applications for these funds. The applications proposed a broad range of diverse and compelling public engagement projects—including offering targeted resources for Latinx workers, Asian immigrants, transgender workers, domestic workers, farmworkers, retail workers, restaurant workers, hotel workers, poultry workers and more.
“We are thrilled to support organizations that are helping the most vulnerable workers fight back against sexual harassment,” said Fatima Goss Graves, co-founder of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund and President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “Sexual misconduct in the workplace has been allowed to thrive unchecked for too long—and low-wage workers and women of color have faced the brunt of this abuse and not known where to turn. The awardees’ inventive strategies to educate workers about their rights are key to combatting this scourge.”
Awardees were selected based on organizations’ community ties, planned outreach to low-wage workers in target populations, and demonstrated commitment to advocacy on behalf of workers’ rights—with attention to geographic distribution across the United States and diversity among the populations served. The selected projects will use a wide range of innovative tools and strategies to support low-wage workers, including leadership trainings, small worker-led meetings, radio shows, comic books, videos, apps, webinars, and social and traditional media. Each grant ranges from $35,000 – $50,000.
“The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund believes that no worker at any job should ever have to endure abuse for a paycheck,” said Sharyn Tejani, Director of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. “We want all survivors to know that there are available resources to help them deal with sexual misconduct. The projects awarded today have the potential to change lives, and I could not be more excited for the work that lies ahead.”
The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund grantees are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas will bolster its sexual harassment education and outreach program to farmworker women, rural service providers and law enforcement to increase awareness about the scope, extent and nature of sexual harassment, as well as the legal rights available to survivors.
Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP)
The Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP), which is working to educate its Asian and Pacific Islander members, will lead train-the-trainer workshops on sexual harassment and offer a stipend for individuals who participate in the program and commit to 40 hours of community organizing. Subsequent workshops led by trained participants will ask attendees to write and draw in journals to create #USToo postcards that feature resources for survivors of sexual harassment and will be translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Urdu.
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV)
The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV) is partnering with Trans Queer Pueblo (TQP) and the Center for Neighborhood Leadership (CNL) to host train-the-trainer workshops and develop a grassroots public awareness campaign – with door-to-door outreach at events and nightclubs – about the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, particularly among communities of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrant populations and undocumented peoples.
Asian-American Community Services
Asian-American Community Services is a coalition of three groups working with Asian-American communities in Ohio’s five largest cities. The coalition will implement a know-your-rights outreach strategy that incorporates grassroots organizing, as well as earned and social media to inform API women workers – particularly those working in nail salons, massage businesses, and food services – about their rights regarding workplace sexual harassment and retaliation. The coalition will also connect workers who have experienced workplace harassment with the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund and support them as they make decisions about how to address the misconduct they have experienced.
DC Jobs with Justice
DC Jobs with Justice will work to raise awareness among restaurant, retail, and construction workers about their rights and assist workers who have experienced sexual misconduct in the workplace in accessing the legal support they need.
Forge will develop resources and materials – including a national webinar, short video and webpage – to educate transgender, non-binary individuals and allied service providers about workplace sexual harassment and related retaliation. Forge also offers cultural competence trainings for allied service providers working with transgender survivors of workplace sexual harassment.
Healing to Action
Healing to Action will launch an eight-week leadership training program, which will convene a diverse cohort of 10-20 worker-leaders from various low-wage industries to increase public awareness about the root causes of sexual harassment and highlight available resources for survivors of abuse.
Interfaith Worker Justice
Interfaith Worker Justice will launch its Gender Justice in the Workplace Project in eight states to empower working women – particularly immigrants and victims of labor trafficking working as domestic workers and poultry workers – to overcome complex individual, cultural, and institutional barriers to safe work environments. The program will incorporate women’s circles to analyze systemic issues, create partnerships with service providers, conduct leadership trainings developed by immigrant women, and offer know-your-rights materials in at least two languages.
Latino Community Fund
The Latino Community Fund is partnering with Lifting Latinx Voices, a program of the Feminist Women’s Health Center, to launch a public awareness campaign targeting five counties in Georgia with large Latinx populations. The campaign will feature train-the-trainer workshops and a video.
National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH)
The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) will host multilingual train-the-trainer programs through its Sexual Harassment Leadership Education Initiative in Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee and Texas to ensure low-wage workers and survivors of sexual misconduct are aware of their rights.
National Domestic Worker’s Alliance
The National Domestic Worker’s Alliance will work to develop its domestic worker leadership program, offer know-your-rights trainings, and improve its internal protocols to increase awareness of how domestic workers can address incidents of sexual misconduct.
New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs is partnering with state and local organizations, including the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, New Mexico Asian Family Center, Arc of New Mexico, Casa Forteleza (which provides therapy for Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual harassment), and New Mexico’s Native American communities to offer support for survivors of sexual harassment, in addition to providing know-your-rights workshops and trainings.
Organization United for Respect (OUR)
Organization United for Respect (OUR) will offer leadership development and support to Walmart employees who have experienced sexual misconduct—with a specific emphasis on women of color and individuals who identify as LGBTQ. OUR aims to create a model that will be replicable by employees at other major retailers; will connect Walmart employees who have experienced sexual misconduct to the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, as needed; and launch a campaign to improve Walmart’s sexual harassment policy.
ROC United will host educational workshops and know-your-rights trainings on sexual harassment and offer available resources for tipped restaurant workers. ROC United will also support survivors who wish to seek justice for their cases and offer leadership trainings for anti-harassment advocacy in the restaurant industry.
Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA)
Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA) will conduct bilingual outreach and community education on workplace sexual harassment and retaliation to low-wage workers. The goal of the project is to raise awareness among low-income Texans and migrant farm workers in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana about their rights to be free from sexual harassment and related retaliation at work. The project will also highlight strategies to use when sexual misconduct occurs, such as accessing information and referral services, including the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund.
UNITE HERE Local 8
UNITE HERE Local 8 will recruit and train worker-leaders to develop and hold a series of know-your-rights workshops for low-wage hotel workers in Seattle. These workshops will focus on educating hotel workers about their rights regarding workplace sexual harassment and retaliation under federal, state and local laws and connecting them to resources like the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund.
Voces Unidas – a coalition led by WeCount!, Miami Workers Center, Community Justice Project and the University of Miami School of Law Human Rights Clinic – is working to end workplace sexual harassment against low-wage immigrant women workers in South Florida. With the support this grant, Voces Unidas is launching a public awareness campaign to address the disproportionate impact of sexual violence against low-wage, immigrant women workers – particularly domestic workers, farmworkers, and plant nursery workers – and connect them with information and resources to fight back against sexual harassment in the workplace. Voces Unidas’ educational campaign will feature know-your-rights infographics, radio broadcasts provided by a partner organization, community outreach, legal referrals, research and canvassing.
YWCA Greater Los Angeles
Through its Job Corps, Digital Learning Academy and Workforce Readiness Residential programs, YWCA Greater Los Angeles will offer informational workshops addressing workplace sexual harassment, related retaliation and worker rights to young workers.
About the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund
The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which is housed at and administered by the National Women’s Law Center Fund, connects those who experience sexual misconduct including assault, harassment, abuse and related retaliation in the workplace or in trying to advance their careers with legal and public relations assistance. The Fund will help defray legal and public relations costs in select cases based on criteria and availability of funds. Donations to the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund are tax deductible through the Direct Impact Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or through the National Women’s Law Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The initiative was spearheaded by actors and others in the entertainment industry, attorneys Tina Tchen and Roberta Kaplan, and top public relations professionals. Women in Hollywood came together around their own experiences of harassment and assault, and they were moved by the outpouring of support and solidarity against sexual harassment from women across sectors. This inspired them to help create a Fund to help survivors of sexual harassment and retaliation in all industries—especially low-wage workers. They worked together in an historic first to design a structure that would be both inclusive and effective.
For immediate release: August 10, 2018
Contact: Maria Patrick ([email protected])