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Research, Development, Action and Working with Religious Communities to Raise Awareness
We are a multifaith non-profit whose mission is to advance the rights of workers by engaging diverse faith communities into action, from grassroots organizing to shaping policy at the local, state and national levels. We envision a nation where all workers enjoy the rights to:
- wages, heath care and pensions that allow workers to raise families and retire with dignity
- safe working conditions
- organize and bargain collectively without harassment, intimidation or retaliation
- equal protection under labor law- regardless of immigration status
- fair and just participation in a global economy that promotes the welfare of both domestic and foreign workers.
STUDENT PLACEMENT OPPORTUNITIES:
We provide a unique learning experience because we provide hands-on experience on working on issues that impact low wage workers in our society through research, resource development, direct actions and working with religious communities to raise awareness. It is a unique space to explore what it means to work towards justice from a particular faith context while working in partnerships with people of various different faiths as well as non-religious organizations such as worker centers and unions.While it is not a requirement, a student who has previous organizing experience or speaks Spanish is helpful.
STUDENT PLACEMENT EXPECTATIONS:
While it is not a requirement, a student who has previous organizing experience or speaks Spanish is helpful.
PHILOSOPHY OF STUDENT SUPERVISION:
I think supervising seminary students in the context of IWJ’s work is to provide them with a broad experience of worker justice issues and help them wrestle and reconcile the divide between the church and economic justice. Many interns come believing their denominations and their churches are very “progressive” but realize that they know very little about low wage worker issues or in fact participate in the oppression of low wage workers. Others come and are very passionate about the issues already but do not know how to engage congregations and faith communities in ways that they can be heard. IWJ becomes a place for them to experiment and refine their prophetic voice. My role in that is to be a sounding board and a guide. I also see seminary students as partners in ministry and I learn as much from them as they do from the experience.
Varies from year to year, depending on availability.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS:
IWJ’s office is located 1.5 blocks from the CTA redline stop on Bryn Mawr. It is also accessible by bus on Sheridan Rd, Broadway St, and Peterson Ave.
OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION:
We have had other staff serve as “lay support team”. This usually is another staff person the person works closely with. We can also arrange for students who are interested, to have a IWJ board member or supporter who is a seasoned religious leader in our work to mentor them. When we have more than one seminarian intern at a time, we provide space for peer theological reflection time.