“We the clergy must be the guardians of justice – ensure that justice for one is justice for all!”
Over 50 representatives of churches, mosques, and synagogues from around the 5 Boroughs and representatives from a variety of social justice, labor and community organizations issued a call for a Day of action on July 24th Day to Raise the Minimum Wage.
The breakfast was successful in forging today a deep and meaningful relationship between our city’s congregations and labor. The inspirational speakers clearly articulated the need for faith leaders to be active in the fight to raise the minimum wage.
The event started with a re-affirmation of the linkage between faith and the fight for workers’ rights. As a local Iman stated, “if we look at scripture, we see they all say same thing – every human being is entitled to justice”.
The conversation then turned to the broader need for change. As Bertha Lewis of the Black Institute stated, “Talking about worker justice – it’s not only about one worker- it’s about fixing the underlying issues” – so we can win justice for ALL workers.
The conversation always returned to the core issue of workers’ rights and raising the minimum wage – framed as a social justice and human rights issue. “As a faith leader said “we need to be able to scream for the rights of our brothers and sisters, and change the hearts of those who are abusing them.”
We were asked to close our eyes and imagine our communities standing up on July 24th – to Image hundreds of faith leaders on a Jericho Walk in the center of New York City – to bring the walls of injustice down.
The Breakfast ended with a rousing rallying call to organize for July 24th - “the organizing doesn’t end at this breakfast!”
Faith leaders made a commitment to organize broad and deep within their congregations. When asked who signed up to get their congregations involved in the July 24th Day of Action – all hands promptly went up.
All left the breakfast empowered to work to raise the minimum wage and for workers’ rights.