On behalf of the Boards of Directors of Jobs With Justice and Jobs With Justice Education Fund, we’re excited to announce the decision to expand the leadership of the organization by selecting Erica Smiley to serve as a co-director along with Sarita Gupta.
Income inequality, the extreme concentration of wealth and power, climate threats, and corporate-led attacks on working people in unions are intensifying. Given this political climate, the sustainability of our movements depends on increasing our base of leadership.
It is because of these threats that the ambitions of our workers’ rights movement must soar, not shrink. Now is a moment to reclaim control of our agenda and our future. We can spark social change, block this administration’s hateful agenda, and open the doors to sweeping changes in the workplace, in our environment, and even at our borders.
Seizing the moment requires radical imagination, strategic thinking, and innovation. We cannot think of a better duo than Erica Smiley and Sarita Gupta to provide the kind of governance that we need right now.
Many of you know Sarita and have had the opportunity to work with her in her capacity as a student leader in USSA, a local leader of Chicago Jobs With Justice, a field director at our national office, co-director of Caring Across Generations, and while serving on the boards of many organizations. We have been fortunate to have her at the helm of Jobs With Justice for the last 12 years, providing incredible leadership and commitment to growing the organization and our impact.
If you have worked with Erica Smiley, then you know she is a brilliant strategist and organizer, an incredible storyteller, a gifted trainer, a trusted and well-regarded collaborator, and a leader with a clear vision for the future of Jobs With Justice. Smiley has been with Jobs With Justice for 11 years. Most recently, she served as our Organizing Director where she designed new approaches to campaigns and brainstormed ways to build individual membership within our network. She is also the powerhouse behind our framework to lead and nurture campaigns and strategies to expand the ability for working people to join together and negotiate over conditions shaping their jobs, their communities, and their lives. Earlier, Smiley was our southern regional field organizer, developing smart campaigns and providing technical assistance to support the growth and development of local coalitions. You can learn more about Erica Smiley here.
Sarita and Smiley have an incredible breadth of experience and commitment to organizing for workers’ rights and economic and social justice. We hope you are as thrilled as we are about our co-directors!
Esther Lopez, UFCW
Tefere Gebre, AFL-CIO
Lara Granich, Missouri Jobs With Justice