Faith Advocates for Jobs
Interfaith Worker Justice is organizing with the faith community to address the most damaging social crisis of our lifetimes: the crisis of unemployment. While there are some signs of a return to profitability for certain sectors of business, workers continue to face unemployment and underemployment at levels not seen since the Great Depression.
While the entire society is reeling, the unemployment rate for African Americans, Latinos, youth, and people who live in particularly hard-hit cities and regions is disastrous, which in turn has led to huge increases in foreclosures, homelessness, crime, and despair.
Faith Advocates for Jobs is a major new interfaith campaign initiated by Interfaith Worker Justice to address the severe suffering being endured by millions of unemployed workers. The campaign is organizing a nationwide network of congregations committed to supporting the unemployed and their families both spiritually and materially.
Will yours be one of those congregations?
If so, complete the Congregational Commitement Pledge online or fill out the downloadable copy (PDF) and fax it to 773-728-8409. If you join the campaign's network of congregations, we'll help you get started, provide you with information on how your congregation can be most helpful to the unemployed, and share with you what others in the network are doing.
Many unemployed worker support committees already exist in congregations around the country. If yours is one of those, we hope you'll join with us! We believe that together we can help unemployed workers and their families get through this crisis and begin to look forward to a better day. Please download the Faith Advocates for Jobs Campaign Goals (PDF) and join with us!
Please contact Rev. Paul Sherry, the campaign's coordinator, for full details and how you and your organization/congregation can get involved.
You can reach Paul by phone:
Our religious traditions teach us that work is a sacred act, that when we labor we are "God's hands" on earth. Those who work and those who cannot work must be treated fairly.
Woe to him who builds his house on unrighteousness, and his upper room by injustice, who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages. (Jeremiah 22:13)
Faith Advocates for Jobs has produced a Toolkit for congregations that want to get involved. Standing With the Unemployed: A Congregational Toolkit can be downloaded here (it's a PDF). In the toolkit you'll find:
- Campaign Goals
- Worship Resources
- Congregational Pledge
- What Can Your Congregation Do?
- Coming Together in a Time of Crisis
- Getting Immediate Help to Unemployed Workers
- The Spiritual Meaning of the Economic Crisis
Please download the toolkit and let others know about it -- via e-mail, facebook, listservs, or however you share information.
|Watch this CBS Special Unemployment: How Faith Communities Help Job Seekers featuring the Faith Advocates for Jobs campaign.|
|Watch this video of Rev. Paul Sherry, coordinator of Faith Advocates for Jobs, speaking at the Summit on Jobs & America's Future at the National Press Club in Washington on March 10, 2011.|
Extension and Modernization of Unemployment Insurance: Background
A brief look at the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act (H.R. 2233) and the Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008 (H.R. 5749).
IWJ Letter of Support for Extension of Unemployment Insurance
Support for additional weeks of unemployment insurance, May 13, 2008.
Unemployment Extension Briefing Materials
Compiled by the House Committee on Ways and Means, June 9, 2008.
Other Letters of Support for Extension of Unemployment Insurance
Sent to the House Ways and Means Committee from governors, state legislators, unions, and NGOs, Spring 2008.
Unemployment Insurance: Receipt of Benefits Has Declined, with Continued Disparities for Low-Wage and Part-Time Workers
Congressional testimony from the Government Accountability Office, detailing how low-wage workers are frequently excluded from participation in the unemployment insurance program, September 19, 2007.