I recently asked some coworkers what words they associated with “organized religion.” I got “oppression,” “rigidity,” and “Right Wing politics.” However, when I asked if people considered themselves “spiritual” and whether faith had a role to play in our movement for economic justice, people did a 180 and had positive things to say.

As the Director of the Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy (FAME), EBASE’s faith-rooted organizing program, I am often grappling with what role organized religion plays in our Progressive movement. So do many of FAME’s pastors, lay leaders, and other people of faith.

What I can say is that FAME takes its inspiration from our foremothers and forefathers in faith who understood justice to be at the core of their religion and were impelled to courageous actions. In its dedication to faith-rooted organizing, FAME seeks to bring together the very best of our spiritual traditions to infuse our economic justice movement with love, joy, and hope, redeeming our economy, and even some of our religious institutions.

I invite you to get involved, whether you are a member of a congregation or not, whether you believe there is one God or not, or whether you consider yourself a religious person or not. If you feel that spirituality can elevate low-wage workers, immigrants, and our work together to create justice for our entire community, then there is a place for you.

Here’s a sampling of what’s on our docket this fall:

  • Labor in the Pulpit: We’ll be speaking at dozens of congregations to educate and mobilize people of faith to vote YES of Lift Up Oakland’s Measure FF to raise the minimum wage to $12.25 with paid sick days.
  • Small Business Organizing: We’ll be breaking down the walls between our movement and business by reaching out to Oakland’s business owners to support Measure FF.
  • Walmart & Fast Food Delegations: We’ll be accompanying workers to take on their managers on low wages, paid sick days, full-time work, and immigrant rights.
  • Border Children Support: We’ll be protesting the inhumane conditions that immigrant children are suffering at the border as they seek better lives in the US.

To get involved, please feel free to contact me at kristi@workingeastbay.org

Kristi Laughlin
FAME Director

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