Worker Justice Wisconsin is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We formed in 2018 as the result of a merger of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin, Inc., and Worker’s Rights Center of Madison, Inc. The current board of directors is a combined roster from both boards.
We will elect our 2018 board on February 22 at 5:00 pm. Please join us in the Madison Labor Temple, room 109. The public is welcome to attend.
(Institutional affiliations listed for purposes of identification only.)
President: Mary Bell, Wisconsin Education Association Council (past president) My reason for supporting ICWJ? We often speak of our “union family” – but we often have faith communities as well. Both communities hold sacred the fair treatment of those who labor. ICWJ brings together my union family with communities of faith so that we may speak openly, advocate fully, and progress farther on the path to honoring and achieving fair treatment, fair wages, and a voice in the workplace for all laborers.
Vice-President: Jim Cavanaugh, South Central Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO (past president)
Treasurer: Jeff Mehrhoff, Painters District Council 7
Secretary: Paulette Harder, Lake Edge United Church of Christ
As a representative of the faith community I am committed to the social gospel. I am proud to be part of worker justice issues such as Fight for $15 and economic justice for restaurant workers through the Just Dining Guide. I am impressed with the commitment to worker justice of the ICWJ board and staff and pleased with the energy that everyone brings to this important issue.
Rev. Kristin Gorton, Memorial United Church of Christ & UCC Economic
Rev. Peder Johanson, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, ELCA – Brodhead As a follower of Jesus and a minister of the church (Lutheran – ELCA), working for justice is not a choice but a call. Participating with ICWJ has been a great way to connect with sisters and brothers who share in this call (across religions and cultures) to walk with, support, and uphold the rights and dignity of workers in our communities.
Douglas Keillor, Madison Teachers Inc. I was part of the initial group that started the ICWJ and have been involved ever since. The genesis of my involvement was the desire to build relationships between the labor community and the faith community to advocate around the common values of worker justice, especially for low-wage workers. In a nation with a growing chasm between the haves and the have nots, this mission has never been more important. And in a world too often divided by religious differences, uniting in common cause people of faith from across our diverse faith traditions (or no faith traditions) is equally important.
Kurt Kobelt, Arellano & Phebus Law Firm As a labor lawyer who has represented unions and victims of discrimination for over 35 years and as a Unitarian-Universalist, I believe both the labor movement and the progressive faith community can grow stronger together by working in coalitions such as this one.
Alexia Kulwiec UW-Extension School for Workers
Sister Maureen McDonnell, O.P., Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa
“I’m a Catholic Dominican Sister, so that makes it important to me to be committed to Catholic Social Teaching in general and to worker justice in particular. All humans are to be treated with dignity and respect and have the right to a living wage and good working conditions. One way to achieve this is to work on policy as well as direct action, which we combine in ICWJ. I also love the interfaith aspect of our work.”
“I became a labor activist because of my faith. Jesus said that whatever we do to the least we do to him. The Exodus is a labor story.”
Mitch, UW-Madison Neighborhood Law Clinic
“I believe that a vibrant workforce is the backbone of a vibrant society. Therefore the commitment that we make to ensuring our workforce has all the rights allowed to them enhances our social connectivity.”
“My interest in worker justice first arose when I was in high school and embarked on a research project focusing on migrant and seasonal workers in south Florida. Having learned that the conditions under which they lived and worked were appalling, as a seminarian I began to work with the National Farm Worker Ministry a few years later. I am grateful that at this stage of life I can revisit these earlier involvements as an active member of the ICWJ Board of Directors.”
Carolina Sarmiento, UW-Madison School of Human Ecology
Charity Schmidt, South Central Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Pastor Modesto Enrique Soto, First United Methodist Church of Fort Atkinson
Scott Watson, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters
Bert Zipperer, Madison Teachers Inc. (retiree)