Worker Justice

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Meet Our Staff

Rebecca Meier-Rao

Rebecca Meier-Rao

Executive Director

What inspires me about Worker Justice Wisconsin is the way it addresses problems that are very much in our midst and yet invisible to most people: things like wage theft, discriminatory practices, and the abuse of low-wage and immigrant workers. I am proud to work with people who are passionate and relentless in their pursuit of justice, and who are committed to empowering all workers to stand up for their rights!

Socorro Cortez

Socorro Cortez

Worker Organizer

When I suffered from discrimination at my workplace, I wasn’t sure where to turn, I found Worker Justice WI and they were able to help me file a complaint. During mediation, we successfully resolved my complaint. I was so grateful for the assistance that I received that I decided to become a full time volunteer advocate, and was eventually hired on. I love having the opportunity to help workers with problems I know so well. I am so thankful to have a resource like this in our community and it is so important to me that we continue to help workers like myself!

Robert Christl

Program Director

Born and raised in Alabama, I moved to Madison in 2015 to pursue a doctoral degree in the Department of History at UW. I also joined the graduate-worker union, the Teaching Assistants Association, and quickly became involved as a member and then officer. My historical research on working-class intellectuals and my experience with unionism have made me a strong supporter of the labor movement. I am thrilled to join Worker Justice Wisconsin and to participate in local efforts to grow a rank-and-file, democratic, intersectional, and internationalist movement of workers.

Frida Ballard

Worker Organizer

I am excited to be a part of Worker Justice Wisconsin and provide support for workers in my community. I have worked as a community medical interpreter and have seen the harm that is done to Latiné workers in Wisconsin. My background in housing cooperatives in Austin, TX as well as Madison has led me into creating more inclusive low-income housing. WJW allows me to continue that role in creating more opportunities to build power through worker cooperatives and collective worker organizing. I’m extremely grateful to work with such a dedicated group of people that I can also relate to personally and culturally.

Katrina Woods

Business Manager

I am happy to be a part of an organization that can give a voice to the low wage and immigrant workers in Wisconsin. As the Business Manager here at WJW, I’m the one who makes sure we have the budget for the programs and makes sure we are financially sound so things can go according to the plans we’ve laid out for the year. I have also been in low wage jobs where it didn’t meet my family needs and had to depend on family and friends to help. I didn’t know about WJW at that point in time, but if I had, I would have appreciated making use of our services. This why I wanted to be part of this organization: We all deserve to be heard by someone who is willing to listen. WJW is that.

Caleigh Judd

Caleigh Judd

Communications and Development Associate

As someone raised in a union household, the importance of labor rights and worker justice has never been lost on me. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to contribute to an organization that not only directly assists workers, but also addresses the structural issues that oppress them in the first place. Acting with the support of faith and community leaders only strengthens what we are capable of as a movement, and Worker Justice Wisconsin is essential in facilitating these collective efforts. As Emma Lazarus said, “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.” Worker Justice Wisconsin understands the value and responsibility of this solidarity.

Gretchen Baumgardt

Faith Outreach Coordinator

I’m happy to be contracted as the new Faith Outreach Coordinator! I have M.Div. from Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from Marquette University. Interfaith dialogue and social justice have been key aspects of my work in ministry and teaching, primarily with college students. I look forward to continuing to build relationships with our faith allies and collaborating on ways to support worker justice initiatives.