Founded in 1996, Interfaith Worker Justice is a national nonprofit organization that advances the rights of working people by unifying diverse faith communities into action through shared principles, such as justice, dignity and respect. As the spearhead of a national campaign against Wage Theft, IWJ is shaping national, state and local policies. With more than 60 local affiliates, including 26 worker centers, IWJ is the leading national organization working to strengthen the religious community's involvement in issues of workplace justice.
Rudy López, Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, has built a career developing leaders and building power in disenfranchised communities. As the Political Director for the Center for Community Change (2007-2013), he worked with groups all around the country to register, educate and turn-out hundreds of thousands of voters in low-income communities and communities of color. Rudy served as Wellstone Action’s National Field Director (2005-07) training grassroots leaders on how to manage campaigns and run for political office. He was also the National Field Director of the Chicago-based U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute (2000-05) and oversaw Latino leadership development programs and voter-registration drives across the nation. Rudy developed his organizing skills in the neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village in Chicago working as a community organizer with Gamaliel affiliate the Metropolitan Alliance of Congregations (1998-99). In the last two years, he focused solely on the passage of comprehensive immigration reform as a senior organizer for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) based in Washington DC. He we one of the core fasters for Fast4Families and toured the country lifting up the urgency to pass comprehensive immigration reform. He has appeared on numerous media outlets stressing the importance social justice through active community engagement.
Kim Bobo, Founding Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, was named one of Utne Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" in 2009. Prior to Interfaith Worker Justice, Bobo was a trainer for the Midwest Academy, and Director of Organizing for Bread for the World. She is co-author of Organizing for Social Change, the best-selling organizing manual in the country, and the author of Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid - And What We Can Do About It, the first and only book to document the wage theft crisis in the nation and propose practical solutions for addressing it.
What is IWJ?
With more than 60 affiliated groups, Interfaith Worker Justice is the largest faith-based organization in the United States focused on worker issues.
What is the IWJ network?
The IWJ network of more than 60 affiliated groups includes both local interfaith committees and worker centers. Interfaith committees typically bring local religious and labor leaders together to educate and advocate for workers’ issues. Worker centers organize and serve low-wage, non-union workers in a local community.
What denominations are involved?
Every major faith tradition affirms the dignity of work and supports the right of workers to organize. Our staff and board reflect the whole spectrum of Christianity; Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist traditions; and those who identify as spiritual but not religious. We are committed to working together with all people who share the value of worker justice.
What value do you bring to workers?
IWJ’s national network has shone a spotlight on the wage theft crisis in America – helping win millions of dollars in back wages for low wage workers who have been cheated by unethical employers. We have stood with striking workers, bringing a moral voice to the fight for a right to organize and bargain collectively. And we are working to make creating just jobs the number one priority in this country. But, every single day, IWJ affiliates touch the lives of individual workers and their families who come for help and support. They are the reason we do what we do.
Where do you get your money?
As a 501-c-3 non-profit, all donations to IWJ are tax-deductible. Our supporters include individual donors, congregations, national denominations, foundations committed to social and economic justice, and labor unions.
Are you part of the AFL-CIO?
No. However, we are proud of the partnership we have with all of our union allies. Like every other institution (including religious ones), unions aren’t perfect – and, in some ways, are in need of real reform. But we have labor unions to thank for the weekend; for child labor laws, the 40-hour week, the minimum wage, retirement funds, and other benefits that most people take for granted. They continue to be the best way workers have of making sure their voices get heard.
- Download IWJ logo (b&w) -> link to logo
- Download IWJ logo (color) -> link to logo
- Design Standards -> link to pdf
- Download stock color photo (IWJ Organizer, Joe Hopkins, plays his trumpet at a Take Back Chicago march) -> link to photo
- Download stock color photo (Candid shot of a protest action) -> link to photo
- Download stock color photo (Clergy leading action in Madison, spring 2011) -> link to photo
- Download stock b&w photo (IWJ interns at a Hyatt action in Chicago) -> link to photo
Cathy Junia, Communications Director