Faith Advocates for Jobs, Interfaith Worker Justice

Posted October 14, 2011 in Blog, Featured, Mutual Aid, Partner, Religious, Resource, Social Action

The Resilience Circle Network is excited to partner with Faith Advocates for Jobs (FAJ), a new initiative established by Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith based bodies committed to addressing the severe crisis of unemployment and the pain it is causing so many of our nation’s people and families. These congregations provide a wide variety of services for the unemployed, from emotional support to assistance in filing for benefits and conducting job searches.

Through Faith Advocates for Jobs, congregations connect with each other to strengthen their support of the unemployed. They learn from each others’ work, share best practices, and take action to bring good jobs back to our communities. The campaign also provides a way to advocate for public policies that create jobs and ensure dignity to workers.

Many members of Resilience Circles (and Common Security Clubs) are unemployed or underemployed. Unemployment can exacerbate isolation, which in turn can make it far harder to find a new job. This can turn into a vicious cycle. Both Resilience Circles and supportive congregations provide an essential space for people to remain connected and engaged with their communities.

Both approaches also understand that people must be supported holistically when dealing with unemployment. Technical assistance, such as help filing for unemployment benefits and searching for work, is crucial, but so are less tangible forms of support. As Wednee Crofoot, a member of a Resilience Circle in California, puts it, “My group reminded me that I am a valuable member of society, even if I’m not employed right now. That encouragement has really been huge during this time.”

Faith Advocates for Jobs has produced an excellent Congregational Toolkit with resources for congregations to support their unemployed and underemployed members. Download the Toolkit Here (PDF).

If your congregation is interested in joining Faith Advocates for Jobs, we welcome you aboard. Simply fill out the online Congregational Commitment Pledge. If you are considering joining and have questions, please contact either Rev. Paul Sherry (psherry@iwj.org) or Sarah Byrnes (sarah@localcircles.org).

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