She is Afro-Brazilian and the first one in her family to earn a PhD (Boston University, Sociology, 2016). She writes and teaches about race, power, and immigration in the United States in courses in Sociology, Labor Studies, and Human Services at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has also been Executive Director of Boston’s Brazilian Worker Center since 2010, where she has worked on educating members of the immigrant community on the racial divides that immigrants carry with them from Latin America to Boston. She is a co-founder of the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers, and helped lead the campaign to pass the state’s 2014 Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, and in 2015 won rights for domestic workers in the state of Connecticut. She is the co-author of Invisible No More: Organizing Domestic Workers in Massachusetts and Beyond (2014), and other publications on immigration issues.
Among many awards she received, she was named one of the nation’s 2013 Petra Fellows, recognizing unsung heroes in the struggle for social justice. In October 2014 she received the Richard L. Fontera Memorial Award, for her commitment to education and the ideals of democracy and social justice, from the Dubin Labor Education Center at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. In November 2014 she received the Greater Boston Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Leadership Award for her advocacy for domestic workers and the passing of landmark legislation. In 2015, she was named one of the nation’s 25 most significant Black women labor leaders in the “And Still I Rise Project” of the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, DC. That year she also won the Jorge Fidalgo Community Service Award from the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers. In addition, she has been appointed by Mayor Walsh to serve on the city’s Living Wage Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement, and at board member at the Women’s Institute for Leadership Development, and Jobs with Justice. She sits on the Greater Boston Labor Council representing the Brazilian Worker Center.