TWU first organized in the mid-1980s in response to the scheduled evictions of thousands of renters in the Arlandria/Chirilagua neighborhood of Alexandria. Developers assumed residents would simply make way for gentrification but instead, they stayed, studied, and organized. A nearly ten-year-long campaign succeeded: the limited-equity Arlandria-Chirilagua Housing Cooperative is owned and democratically controlled by residents, most with low incomes. Organizing work includes housing justice, health equity (increasing access to culturally sensitive healthcare), education justice (ending the school-to-prison pipeline), immigrantsí rights (ending local collaboration with authorities), and police accountability. The goal is to advance social and racial justice through community power building. When the pandemic hit, TWU worked overtime to meet the dire needs of its community, and in partnership with others expanded its work to include direct services that will continue long after the pandemic's end.
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