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The Brazilian Immigrant Center (BIC) does organizing, advocacy and training to reduce marginalization of Brazilian immigrants, promoting their engagement as workers & civic participants. A worker’s center, BIC supports and defends workers’ rights under current state & US labor laws. BIC helps workers mediate complaints with employers, and refers others for class action suits, or intervention by the Mass. Attorney General or US Dept. of Labor. A special focus at present is organizing mostly women domestic workers, and BIC has a new Law and Policy Clinic, a Domestic Worker Mediation Program, and an Immigration Justice Project staffed by two full-time public interest attorneys. The UMass faculty and staff mentioned above, and collaborating units such as the Labor Resource Center, UMass Labor Extension, the Anthropology Department, the Applied Linguistics Department, the Department of Community Relations, the Chancellor’s Office, and the Gaston Institute have all lent their support to Brazilian Immigrant Center activities on and off campus. The campus has made some of its spaces, such as the Campus Center ballroom, and the Ryan Lounge, available for BIC partnership activities such as fundraisers, gala anniversary celebrations, and an art show benefit for Haitian orphans. Under Dr. Siqueira’s and Dr. Maria Idalí Torres’ leadership, the Gaston Institute has recently begun a new Brazilian Initiative, involving outreach to Brazilian community organizations like BIC, as well as universities in Brazil.


Presented as part of the poster showcase at the Office of Community Partnerships' Community-Engaged Partnerships Symposium on April 5, 2012 at UMass Boston.