We Commit to Solidarity

Becky Schigiel, ICWJ’s executive director, spoke at the Faith-Labor Breakfast, Feb. 13, 2017, her first day on the job.

We know that Solidarity is not an event.  It is not something that we do once, and then go back to our individual lives unchanged.

Solidarity is an ongoing relationship, a community that we are choosing to build.  Everyone in this Coalition, you have chosen this community.  And you choose it again and again.

Solidarity is intentional. Like all relationships, it takes practice.   That means we negotiate the terms of our shared community.   And then re-commit again and again.

So, let us recommit today.

We know we have more to do today.   It isn’t enough to come together against oppression.  It isn’t enough to stand together.  We have to BE something together.   It’s not enough to walk away when we disagree, without ever having the conversation.  It’s not enough to stand together if we don’t really know each other.  It’s not enough to respect each other’s faiths or traditions, if we don’t truly listen to what each other believes.  It’s not enough to march together if we aren’t sitting down together.  It is not enough to pray together – but sometimes it helps.

So, let us recommit today.

To each other. To our own beliefs, and to protecting each other’s faiths.

Let us recommit to being so big and so loud together that we shatter this pretense that there is not a point where compensation goes so low it becomes not really being paid at all.  To not let one more conversation go buy in which we pretend that we don’t know that the whole of the lives of our lowest wage earners barely resembles freedom.  We commit to demanding real emancipation.

Our faith traditions teach us that every person has equal inherent worth.  Every person. We commit to not just accept our differences, but to cherish them.  We need each other.

We commit to fiercely teaching our whole history.

We commit to every single worker. No matter who they are or where or what they came from.

We commit to fight racism and every other ism workers face.  To work as a Coalition and always seek out partners.

We commit to collective bargaining as a basic human right.

We commit to not let each other back down.  We commit to resist.  We commit to persist in creating the world we want.  We commit.



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