A message from IWJ's Executive Director, Kim Bobo:
Last week’s IWJ National Conference was a highlight of the year for me for lots of reasons. First and foremost, the conference brought together the most amazing set of leaders from affiliates around the country. These affiliates—both worker centers and interfaith groups—are helping lead the movement for economic justice around the country, advocating stronger wage theft enforcement, comprehensive immigration reform, an increase in the minimum wage, paid sick days and decent wages and benefits for Walmart and fast food workers. The success stories people shared were inspirational.
Because we had a crossover shared day with the Seminary Consortium on Urban Pastoral Ministry (SCUPE), we met several hundred faith leaders who are deeply involved in urban ministry and who share our core values. Some of these folks knew our work, but many did not. We made new friends and partners in the struggle.
We had an amazing action focused on Walmart. We organized delegations to three stores and held a prayer vigil outside the store in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood that had fired a pregnant woman for seeking pregnancy accommodation in the workplace. The logistics of getting 400 folks on buses and through Chicago traffic went smoothly.
The interfaith prayer and worship opportunities, complete with Muslim call to prayer, the blowing of the shofar, ringing Buddhist bells 108 times, Christian prayers, and loads of singing was a blessing to our spirits.
And personally, I was so proud of the incredible teamwork of the IWJ staff and board members who chipped in to make the conference work smoothly.
Check out the great photos and catch a piece of the excitement!