Historic Atlanta mural honors legacy of Black domestic workers

The Georgia chapter of We Dream in Black, an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance recently revealed a mural in Atlanta honoring the work of nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers at 1546 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW.

The mural comes as part of the launch of the ‘Unbossed Women’s Agenda,’ for Black domestic workers for 2020 and beyond. It is a look at the issues, policies, and principles driving Black women workers across the country and the solutions they need to better their lives and careers.

The mural was a community effort led by artist Charity Hamidullah. Domestic workers and domestic worker organizers contributed to the painting of the mural, which features a “Thank You” message to domestic workers as well as paintings depicting Black domestic workers caring for children and elders.

“Although I am not a domestic worker, I know and love many. As the women figures of our family, they not only showed us the power of serving, but gave us the foundation to loving our community,” shared Charity Hamidullah, the mural artist of “Dear Domestic Workers.”

Black domestic workers have been some of the hardest hit workers by COVID-19 and Black immigrant domestic workers have been hit even harder. A recent report by The Institute for Policy Studies and National Domestic Workers Alliance’s We Dream in Black program, estimates that 62% of Black immigrant domestic workers have lost all or part of their income due to the COVID-19 and 75% reported not receiving any PPE or safety clothing while working. This has had a devastating impact on their families, as many don’t qualify for unemployment benefits, federal relief, and are the primary breadwinners in their households.

Domestic workers and advocates are calling for policy solutions including:

  • The passage of the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, a bill introduced in 2019 that will extend basic protections and create new frameworks for how work is changing
  • An increase to the federal minimum wage
  • Access to workforce development
  • An end to racism in our training and workforce development systems within the care industry, among others.

Information: domesticworkers.org