Meet the foundations that took home NCRP Impact Awards
The Liberty Hill Foundation raised expectations – and eyebrows – in 1976 when it was founded to underwrite long-term social change through grassroots and community organizing. Since then, Liberty Hill has continued the same feather-ruffling practices, and as a result, its grantees have changed national policies, launched movements, transformed neighborhoods and nurtured local leaders.
Over the years, Liberty Hill has demonstrated a strong commitment to economic and environmental justice, and LGBTQ equality. Most recently, the foundation showed leadership on the rights of low-wage workers. In 2013, Liberty Hill-supported grassroots organizers from L.A. helped spearhead the passage of the 2014 California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (also known as AB 241), which had failed to pass in 2012. More than 100,000 mostly female domestic workers caring for children, the elderly or people with disabilities were finally granted the overtime protection they deserve. After New York and Hawaii, California is the third state in the United States to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Liberty Hill President & CEO Shane Goldsmith says, “Domestic workers make other work possible, but they have been unfairly excluded from workplace protections that we all need. At Liberty Hill, we are focused on improving conditions for low-wage workers and addressing income inequality from the bottom up. This bill is just one step, true – and it’s an important step.”
Several Liberty Hill grantees played a leading role in the passage of AB 241: Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California (PWC), Filipino Migrant Center (FMC) and Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDESPCA). Andrea Guadarrama, a long-time member of CHIRLA, said in a video interview, “My biggest joy has been requesting a bill of rights for domestic workers. I am not afraid any longer; I am not afraid, I feel brave now, compared to when I first got here. I know I have rights, I am a human being and this is my country also.”
The challenge continues as implementation of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights begins. However, Liberty Hill is standing by its grantees as they find ways to engage employers of domestic workers to write fair contracts and aspire to reach a “gold standard” of conditions in their home and employee’s workplace.