Who We Are

About us

Since 1995, the Brazilian Worker Center (BWC), has supported immigrants in defending and advancing their labor and immigrant rights. Our staff and Board are composed of active members in the Greater Boston area community, with the majority of our Board members represented by 1st generation Brazilian immigrants, whose native language is Brazilian Portuguese. For this reason, most of the services provided by the organization, including staff and board meetings are held in Portuguese.

 

A complete turnover in BWC leadership in 2010 brought new directions to the organization, though our overall mission has remained very consistent. In 2010, BWC became a women-led organization extending the scope of our work and services to intentionally advocate and empower domestic workers. Due to our high degree of commitment and consistent efforts to represent and advocate for workers’ rights in MA, we have become a local, regional and national leader organization in this field. 

Lenita Reason

Executive Director

Since

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Staff

Lenita Reason ​

Executive Director

Anna Barbosa

Director of Development

Gizele Bombardier

Finance and Program Coordinator

Lorrayne Reiter

Domestic Workers Organizer & Immigrants Defense Project Coordinator

André Simões

Workers Rights & Research Coordinator

Paula Correa

Receptionist

André Coco

Volunteer

Board of Directors

For us, it is very important that our Board of Directors represents the community we serve.

José Venâncio

Chair/President of Board


Cristina Brinkerhoff 

Clerk


Dr. Tim Sieber

Treasurer

Eli Dias de Almeida

Board member

 

Dr. Andrea Ruf

Board member

 

Reinaldo Pereira dos Santos

Board member

Erika Souza

Board member

 

Wanderlice Abiacl

Board member

 

Renato Trombini

Board member

Geisalberto de Oliveira

Board member

 

Regina Moreira

Board member

 

Raphael Alves

Board member

Our Supporters

The Brazilian Worker Center is grateful for the continuous contributions we receive from our donors, sponsors and organizations that believe in our mission and our work. We are honored to have your support for the betterment of our Greater Boston Immigrant Community through our programs and services.

Coalitions

In 2021, the BWC’s Executive Director, Lenita Reason, was appointed as co-chair of the Driving Families Forward coalition. This coalition is engaged with advocacy efforts on behalf of the passing of a bill that allows all qualified members of our community the right to drive. Since the bill was initially proposed, she has been actively involved in supporting the coalition with the organizing of virtual briefings, meetings, dialogues with politicians, representatives of immigrant groups from diverse backgrounds and nationalities among other activities held by the group with key stakeholders from our community, including representatives from Faith, Health and Business sectors and groups. These gatherings marked an important historical moment for social justice as they demonstrate an increase in community endorsement towards the Work and Family Mobility Act bill. The Driving Family Forward coalition´s dedication and hard work over several years was crowned with the passing of the bill by the Massachusetts House of Representatives on February 16th, 2022. It was because of Lenita Reason’s active communication and engagement with Rep. William Straus, the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, the House Speaker Ron Mariano, representatives Michael Moran, Christine Barber, and Tricia Farley-Bouvier, among other representatives that have greatly contributed to the passing of the bill. This represents a major step for all qualified Massachusetts residents to obtain permission to apply for a standard state driver’s license. In 2022, BWC continues to work tirelessly to get the Senate leadership to put the bill to a vote as soon as possible. The Driving Family Forward coalition led by our director Lenita Reason and the SEIU 32 BJ Union is working to secure the approval of this project, which will greatly benefit the lives of families and all residents in the state.

Our Executive Director, Lenita Reason is one of three co-chairs (with the RIAN Immigrant Center, Centro Presente, and Agencia Alpha), who have organized the Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative (see: https://www.immigrantrelief.org/about/, in close cooperation with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement of the City of Boston. The MIC collaborative is made up of the Brazilian Worker Center, Rian Immigrant Center, Agencia ALPHA, Centro Presente, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Boston International Newcomers Academy, Caribbean Youth Club, Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores (New Bedford), Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, INCA Relief, Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI), MetroWest Workers Center: CASA (Framingham), New North Citizen Council (Springfield), Pioneer Valley Workers Center, and Sociedad Latina.

On March 23rd, BWC’s Executive Director, Lenita Reason, participated in a legislative briefing with other Worker Centers and advocates as part of the coalition that supports An Act to Protect Injured Workers. This act is very important as it fights on behalf of injured or ill workers, as the law still leaves them largely unprotected when employers retaliate against them or try to prevent them from reporting a workplace injury or illness, seeking medical care, or filing a workers’ comp. An Act to Protect Injured Workers strengthens the anti-retaliation law, provides for complaint, investigation,  and enforcement mechanisms through the Attorney General’s Office and a strengthened private right of  action, and otherwise addresses employer misconduct that prevents workers from receiving timely medical  care and benefits. 

In this legislative briefing, Lenita was joined by Senator Jamie Eldridge, Lead Senate Sponsor; Representative Tram Nguyen, Lead House Sponsor; Al Vega, Director of Policy & Programs, MassCOSH; Ms. Audrey Richardson, Managing Attorney, Employment Law Unit, Greater Boston Legal Services; Diego Low, Director, MetroWest Worker Center/Casa; Emily Spieler, Edwin W. Hadley Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law; Bridget Quinn, Legislative Director, Massachusetts AFL-CIO; Michael Felsen, Senior Advisor, Justice at Work & Former Regional Solicitor, U.S. Dept. of Labor. The meeting covered an overview of the Act and stakeholders discussed the need to strengthen the workers’ compensation anti-retaliation law. We are proud of Lenita and BWC for continuing to stand up for workers’ rights in the workplace!

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