StL Jobs with Justice Leadership Team: Call to Solidarity

Nothing about last night’s grand jury decision in the case of Darren Wilson changes the tragedy of the death of Michael Brown. Our love, our grief and our sympathy deepens for his family and our community.

As our community struggles with this verdict, we want to thank the following churches for making safe spaces available for sanctuary and for prayer:

We are traveling a very long road towards justice. Jobs with Justice remains clear that systemic issues persist that have called so many of us, and so many of our allies, into the streets.

For more than a decade we have supported civilian review for the police in St. Louis, and we are proud that such a bill is expected to pass our Board of Aldermen in the coming weeks. We see important, but not yet enough progress to change a bench warrant system that traps us in poverty. Unemployment and poverty wages cut us off from opportunity. These challenges prevent all of us from accessing our full potential and dignity – but especially and tragically our African American neighbors, co-workers, sisters and brothers in the struggle. Jobs with Justice joins in the cry heard over and over since August 9, that “Black Lives Matter.”

This moment has been a profound challenge to the ties of solidarity among us. In it, we also have a historic opportunity to deepen those ties. In solidarity, we listen to our diverse voices to build understanding and an ongoing commitment to “Be There” for one another.

Jobs with Justice is proud of building a diverse, statewide movement for workers’ rights and economic justice – multiracial, urban and rural, drawing on the strengths of organizing traditions in the faith, community, student and labor movements. This is no accident. It is the product of decades of deep intention and hard work from grassroots leadership. It comes from tireless listening and compassion, even when we disagree. It is rooted in the conviction that the power to build an economy and a democracy that works for everyone comes only from working across lines of difference.

Jobs with Justice is founded from the belief that “being there”, being physically present to each other in moments of crisis, is our power. In the days ahead, we remain present to our allies like the St Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Organization for Black Struggle, Young Activists United for St Louis, Metropolitan Congregations United for St Louis, the Metropolitan St Louis Clergy Coalition, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment and many more.

Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter as community responses may shift in the coming hours and days.