Multicultural Institute supports immigrant workers in Richmond

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Multicultural Institute supports immigrant workers in Richmond
Photo courtesy of the Multicultural Institute.

By Mike Kinney

Mirna Cervantes, executive director of the Multicultural Institute in Richmond, is on a mission to make community members aware of her organization’s important and free services.

The Multicultural Institute was founded in 1991 in Berkeley and expanded to Richmond in 2010 in order to support immigrant workers and their families via a variety of programs targeting economic and vocational skill development. Last year, the organization was recognized as the “2023 California Nonprofit of the Year” for Assembly District 14.

“We advocate for fair wages and connecting workers to job opportunities,” Cervantes said. “We help with labor, immigration, and health services and opportunities.”

Cervantes said the Multicultural Institute is best known for its daily street outreach and its day laborer and domestic worker program in Richmond.

“This program helps assist day laborers and domestic workers, many of whom are immigrants, in securing fair and safe short-term and long-term employment,” Cervantes said. “We support them in negotiating wages and better working conditions, and when resolving wage claims.”

The program also offers workshops and training sessions on workers’ rights, work safety, and financial literacy, which helps participants to improve their employment prospects.

“We offer them access to legal and immigration referrals and support,” Cervantes said.

The organization’s staff also offers healthcare referrals, patient navigation support, on-site health screenings, weekly food distribution, computer classes, business entrepreneurship seminars in Spanish and more.

Youth are offered after-school tutoring and a summer writing camp aiming to boost their academic performance and self esteem.

The Multicultural Institute is located at 3600 MacDonald Ave. and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the organization’s website or call (510) 847-1479.