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Green job creation and social justice: The Vida Verde Brazilian women housecleaning co-op.

Gute-DM; Galvao-H
APHA 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Denver, Colorado, November 6-10, 2010. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2010 Nov; :231368
The Vida Verde Women's Co-Operative (Co-Op) was launched in December of 2006 by the Brazilian Women's Group (BWG) with the main purpose of organizing Brazilian immigrant house cleaners to combat the occupational and environmental dangers posed by traditional toxic cleaning materials and to alleviate the exploitation of workers. The Vida Verde Co-op is a worker owned, democratically run enterprise, which engages 15 women and one man to become educated about the dangers of toxic chemical exposure obtain the skills to make safe cleaning products and gain employment opportunities that are free from the use of toxic chemicals. The Co-Op fosters its members as stewards of the environment by engaging them as leaders and partners of the enterprise, and involving them in conducting outreach and educating clients and their families as well as other members of the Brazilian community to share this critical information about the need to reduce the use of toxic cleaning products. The Co-Op was also formed to address issues of social justice within the membership of the organization. We believe the Co-Op to be an effective public health intervention aimed at the empowerment and support of its members and the broader community that it serves. Qualitative evidence of the positive trajectory of the Co-Op will be presented and discussed.
Sociological-factors; Health-hazards; Risk-factors; Sociological-factors; Humans; Men; Women; Training; Tobacco; Environmental-hazards; Household-workers; Housekeeping-personnel; Cleaning-compounds; Toxic-effects; Education; Training; Author Keywords: Environmental Justice; Environmental Health
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APHA 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Denver, Colorado, November 6-10, 2010
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Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts