Congresswoman Maxine Waters is a co-founder of Black Women’s Forum, a nonprofit organization of over 1,200 African American women in the Los Angeles area. She also founded Project Build in the 1980s, which assisted young people in Los Angeles housing developments with job training and placement.

She believes in using her position to focus at home on issues such as poverty, economic development, equal justice under the law and other issues of concern to people of color, women, children, and poor people, and in the wider world on international peace, justice, and human rights.

She was a leader in the movement to end Apartheid and establish democracy in South Africa, and received the “Order of the Companions of OR Tambo Silver Award” from South African President Thabo Mbeki for her work organizing marches and rallies and authoring a bill aimed at the divestment of funds from corporations doing business with South Africa’s apartheid regime.

She opposed the 2004 Haitian coup d’etat, which overthrew the democratically-elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti. Waters defends the rights of political prisoners in Haiti’s prisons.

Waters leads congressional efforts to cancel the debts that poor countries in Africa and Latin America owe to wealthy institutions like the World Bank and free poor countries from the burden of international debts.

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