Help us fund our labor rights education and advocacy services for low income workers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Telephone: 415-431-7522
Fax: 415-431-4846

Walk-ins are Welcome!

Office Hours:

8:30am to 6:30pm
Monday through Friday
Weekends by Appointment.



For over 30 years, the Instituto Laboral de la Raza has served low income families of California as a nonprofit advocacy and workers' resource center. Headquartered in the Mission District of San Francisco, the Instituto provides legal services, peer counseling, financial education and access to a network of services to the unorganized working poor. Most of our clients are unorganized working poor immigrants from Mexico, Central America and South America.The Mission of the Instituto Laboral de la Raza is to enable the working poor to emerge from cycles of poverty that endanger themselves and the families they support. The Goal of Instituto Laboral de la Raza is to attack the root causes of systemic poverty of people from all social and ethnic backgrounds through programs that stabilize them in their communities, and to build leadership skills so that they may flourish and contribute in harmony to the economic, social and cultural enrichment of their communities.

The Instituto provides labor rights education and legal advocacy to obtain unpaid wages and their denied benefits. We work in collaboration with other neighborhood organizations to effectively manage all other critical needs for the economic, health and social welfare of these disadvantaged, disparaged families. We also have an ongoing program to produce bi-lingual financial educational workshops for adults focused on basic money management, banking and financial services.

Founded in 1982 by Jose E. Medina and community labor leaders, the Instituto, through its community unionism program, also provides workers with information to assist them to seek employment opportunities through union hiring halls as well as to provide them the means to organize in their workplaces. The Instituto Laboral de la Raza has both community activists and labor leaders that sit on our Board of Directors. Our Advisory Board includes men and women from Organized Labor, from the legal and religious community, as well as grassroots activists.

The Instituto host an annual fundraising National Labor Community Awards Summit which is the largest event of its kind in the country. We alos host an annual Green Labor-Capital Forum to promote using the power of labor's capital for growing green jobs and a sustainable economy. We use digital video and web technology to document these events, expand our reach and tell the stories of our clients, our supporters and the work we do.

Instituto Laboral de la Raza is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. We do not charge for any of our services. We are funded by donations, grants and sponsorship by unions and select businesses. Donations are tax deductible in accordance with section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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About Us     Services

The Instituto Support Group

The Instituto Support Group is organized group of talented, busy people who volunteer to advance the work, funding and health of the Instituto. Member of the group generously provide active support for the Instituto's operations and development needs. Our "members" manage specific projects. Our "volunteers" contribute to that project work. Our long-term "friends" serve as community ambassadors by actively communicating our project work and volunteer needs.


Liliana Cortez
Executive Director
Doug Haake
Senior Legal Aid
Rosa Argentina Oates
Office Manager
Nelson Alvarenga
Legal Advocate
Amit Pendyal, J.D.
Law Clerk
Beth Moseley
Special Events


Jaime T. Gonzalez
Board President
Contract Enforcement Specialist
SEIU Local 521
Rudy Gonzalez
Board Treasurer
Executive Director
San Francisco Labor Council
Brian McWilliams
Board Secretary
Ship Clerks Union Local 34
John Ulrich
UFCW Local 5

Laurie Mesa
Commnuity Relations Director
UFCW Local 5

Oscar de la Torre
Business Manager

Olga Miranda
SEIU Janitors Local 87

Freddy F. Sanchez
Samuel Robinson
Business Manager
Laborers' Local 166 - HOD Carriers


Antonio Abarca
Former UHW West - SEIU

Robert S. Arms
Arns Law Firm

Donald C. Carroll
Carroll & Scully, Inc.
Felisa Castillo
Bakers Union Local 24
Antonio Christian
Director, IBT Human Rights Division
Executive Director, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
Ignacio De La Fuente
GMP Local 164-B
D. Alberto Garcia
Celia Halsey
Mission Dolores Parish Council
Michael Hardeman
Sign Display Local 510
Donna Levitt
Director of SF Office of Labor Standards Enforcement
Jose E. Medina
Founding Member
Executive Director Emeritus
Teague Paterson
Deputy General Counsel, AFSCME
(formerly of Beeson Tayer & Bodine)
Eva Royale
Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Parade & Festival
Charles P. Scully, II
Carroll & Scully, Inc
Sadie Williams
Founding Member
Board President Emeritus
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