THE FIRE INSIDE EACH AND EVERY SOUL

Student Reflection on The Demands For A Third Reconstruction by Olivia Kupiec

*Photo by Patrick Mulcahy


On Monday, June 7th, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival held synchronous news conferences and rallies across the nation in 45+ states demanding our House Representatives sign on to a non-partisan Third Reconstruction Resolution. The following reflection is by student organizer, Olivia Kupeic, who participated in the news conference in New York City.

"As someone who had just recently become affiliated with the PPC, this was my first ever Poor People’s campaign event, as well as the first in person get together of powerful voices and faces I had only met over the phone or zoom. It was also the first public gathering I had attended since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, making the already community-oriented nature of the rally so much more passionate and impactful. I remember my first encounters with folks I had been introduced to over text just hours before the rally - the energy was unmatched. The fire inside each and every soul was ablaze and resilient, growing stronger with every word spoken and every sign held high in the air.
What I found remarkable about this rally was just how clearly the campaign’s message is carried out through the actions of the hardworking organizers, leaders, and community members that attended. The PPC lives to its ideals in the truest sense: the narrative was being shifted by shifting the narrators to those combatting an oppressive system that denies adequate healthcare, housing, and financial security required for a DECENT life in this country - not just livable."

Click here for the audio recording of the entire reflection.


The INTERCONNECTED PROJECT is an ongoing student-led organizing project! Visit our website for more student voices.


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Farmworker Organizing Forum

On June 16, clergy and community leaders, union organizers, worker justice organizers and farmworkers joined for a forum on farmworker organizing in NYS. This was the first step in a collaboration between Labor-Religion Coalition and the United Food and Commercial Workers, and included partnership with Rural and Migrant Ministries and the Workers’ Center of Central NY. For decades in New York, farmworkers have been excluded from basic worker protections like the right to organize, the right to a day of rest, and overtime pay. A major victory in 2018 came with the passage of the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act, which remedied many (though not all) of these long-standing exclusions.


The passage of this bill moves us into a new stage of organizing – now that farmworkers have the right to organize in a union, that organizing must begin! Our forum served as an orientation of sorts, to catch up the many supporters of farmworker rights and begin to give clarity on both the needs for community support in organizing campaigns as well as the many challenges that persist for farmworkers. Of note, the week after our forum, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to farmworker organizing efforts in a ruling that prohibits organizers from meeting farmworkers at their worksites outside of work hours. While on the surface this may not seem unusual, farmworkers are often migrants who live on the farms where they work. This isolation makes any organizing drive difficult, and prohibiting union organizers from meeting with workers raises the barriers considerably. More info on this ruling here: https://www.npr.org/2021/06/23/1000129827/in-a-narrow-ruling-supreme-court-hands-farmworkers-union-a-loss


The Labor-Religion Coalition will continue to work with and support our partners in their work to defend the rights of farmworkers. Stay tuned for future events!


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Interfaith Network For Worker Justice - A Call To Action

From the Interfaith Network For Worker Justice, "Drawing on our sacred scriptures and religious traditions, we believe workers should be free to join together in solidarity to make their voices heard, and to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Because we believe in the sacred worth of both work and workers, we support the “Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO)” Act, which will strengthen and expand the right of workers to form unions, bargain collectively, and engage in collective action without fear of retaliation by their employers.

The right of workers to organize in unions is a fundamental human right. This right can unlock the door to a just wage, a safe workplace, and respect on the job for America’s working families. Workers’ right to organize and to be heard is a critical part of any healthy democracy, and is essential to ensuring that human beings are treated with dignity and not as mere objects or means to others’ ends."


Add your name to the Interfaith Network For Worker Justice Support PRO Act Letter


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July Actions with The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, joined by dozens of partners, our 40+ state coordinating committees, and thousands of faith leaders, has announced a season of non-violent moral direct action July 12 – August 8. We demand that Congress: 1. End the filibuster 2. Pass all provisions of the For the People Act 3. Fully restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act 4. Raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hr All of this should be done and must be done by August 6th, the anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, 56 years ago. Monday, July 19 – A Women’s Moral Monday March on Washington On the anniversary of the Women’s Convention at Seneca Falls, nonviolent moral direct action in DC led by women from all over the country. Monday, July 26 – Moral Monday Actions in States Across the Nation Targeting all Senators regardless of party, people in at least 45 states will engage in nonviolent moral direct action.

**There will be simultaneous actions in various regions across New York State, all of which will be followed by a livestream. We will be updating the development of all actions and sharing out details via our social media. To receive updated information follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. August 2 – Moral Monday Action in DC – Faith Leaders + Poor & Low-Wage Workers Nonviolent moral direct action focused on the US Senate and led by a mass number of clergy and religious leaders with poor and low-wage workers.


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The fire inside each and every soul is ablaze, The Team at Labor Religion Coalition

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