Ms. Jeanette Smith

Ms. Jeanette Smith

Miami, FL

Jeanette Smith is the Executive Director of South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice (SFIWJ), the founding organization for South Florida COSH (Council for Occupational Safety and Health) and one of more than sixty IWJ affiliates around the country working on issues that affect workers, particularly low-wage and immigrant workers. Jeanette, as a member of the Florida Wage Theft Task Force, helped to pass a wage theft ordinance in Miami-Dade County in 2010, which was the first of its kind nationwide and is now serving as a model for other communities across the country. She has also helped to establish wage theft ordinances or anti-wage theft programs in six other Florida counties and has successfully defended these local programs against multiple state preemption efforts. Jeanette is hoping that SFIWJ can make the same positive inroads on workplace safety that the organization has been able to do on wage theft.

SFIWJ, under Jeanette's leadership, is also the coordinating group for the South Florida Sanctuary Coalition and a member of the Social Justice Steering Committee. A former attorney, Jeanette practiced law for ten years and previously worked with the National Farm Worker Ministry and the American Friends Service Committee. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in sociocultural anthropology at Florida International University (FIU) where her research focuses on migrant workers and the effectiveness of local wage theft ordinances. Additionally, Jeanette is affiliated with the Religious Studies Department at FIU where she teaches a "Faith and Social Justice" class and is spearheading a faith and the community initiative.