Outreach Coordinator Gerald Hankerson Appointed to Board of ARISE Chicago

CAIR-Chicago’s Outreach Coordinator, Gerald Hankerson, has  been appointed to the board of directors of ARISE Chicago, a local interfaith and labor advocacy group and fellow ICIRR member organization.

Hankerson’s  role will be primarily as a Muslim representative in its Faith and Labor Solidarity Program and he will participate as an advocate whenever possible.

Hankerson joined the board of ARISE Chicago after lending his support in a recent unfair compensation case where Hankerson and many others were involved in mediating a successful resolution between a laundromat worker and her Muslim employer in late January 2011.

He was invited to attend the last of several mediating sessions, dating back to August 2009, because the employer owed past wages and was refusing to pay.

Gerald’s seasoned skills as a debate practitioner aided in coaxing the employer to reconsider not honoring federal and state laws for just compensation of minimum wages and overtime hours

ARISE’s mission is to build partnerships between faith communities and works to fight workplace injustice through education and organizing and advocating for public policy changes.

Read more about ARISE Chicago below:

Arise Chicago, formerly Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues, was founded by Monsignor Jack Egan, Rabbi Robert Marx, and United Methodist Bishop Jesse De Witt in 1991 under the guidance of Ms. Kim Bobo who went on to found the national group, Interfaith Worker Justice.

With knowledge that the basic tenets of all faith traditions support the rights of workers, Arise Chicago organizes the religious community to bring about just resolutions to workplace injustice.

When workers wish to form a union, they are often met with intimidation and harassment. Arise Chicago organizes religious leaders through its Faith and Labor Solidarity program to support workers seeking unionization.

Arise Chicago’s Building Bridges Program, begun in 2000, prepares women and people of color for the building trades’ (carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc.) entrance exams into apprenticeship programs. About one-third of our graduates are ex-offenders.

Launched in 2002, Arise Chicago’s Workers’ Center is a member-based community resource for workers, both immigrant and native born, to learn about their rights and join fellow workers to organize to improve workplace conditions.  The Worker Center has partnered with over 2,100 workers to recover over $4.6 million in stolen wages and compensation.

The Board of Directors consists of representatives from all three programs, with an Advisory Board of prominent religious leaders in the Chicago area.

Learn more about ARISE-Chicago at www.arisechicago.org