Awood Center emerges as a powerful voice for East African workers

Awood Center may be tiny, but the nonprofit organization has recently emerged as a powerful voice for East African immigrants and refugees facing mistreatment or discrimination in the workplace.

It’s a first-of-its-kind effort in Minnesota tailored for East African workers — especially those in low-wage industries — who don’t understand their workplace rights or have language barriers that prevent from expressing their concerns.

The center, which is housed inside the Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, was founded last year in response to growing workplace-mistreatment-related concerns that surfaced in the community. Among those issues, noted Awood Center Executive Director Abdirahman Muse, are wage theft, wrongful terminations and harsh work conditions. Last month, the organization…

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