2014 Winter Appeal

DeAngelo Bester speaks at the Ban the Box press conference.


Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signs the Ban the Box bill into law.


C4RJ members meet with Illinois Governor Quinn.


The Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) works to increase access to quality jobs and strengthen working conditions and job security for Black workers by building power for our members and communities. In this season of giving, we are asking you to support our important organizing work with a tax-deductible financial contribution today.

2014 was an exciting and productive year for the WCRJ. In addition to our daily work of helping members find jobs and resolve workplace disputes, we organized low-income Black workers in Chicago with ongoing political education into voter engagement.

We were part of a statewide coalition that won a voter initiated minimum wage increase in Illinois to $10 an hour. Despite voter turnout being down across the country and the state, the wards that WCRJ and our allies were responsible for realized an increase in voter turnout. Further, more than 90% of the voters in our precincts voted in support of increasing the minimum wage.

WCRJ's top campaign of 2014, however, was our Ban the Box initiative. Through local organizing, power building and advocacy, we won where others have failed: getting "Ban the Box" legislation passed out of both chambers of the Illinois legislature with bipartisan support, and signed into law by the Governor. This landmark legislation made state-wide news substantially increases the job opportunities available for ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society.

We are not ready to rest on our laurels, as we continue to focus on racial justice in general and the criminalization of race in particular. Our major campaigns for 2015 include the decriminalization of marijuana, establishing an office of a special prosecutor whose job it is to investigate and prosecute in cases of police killing of unarmed civilians and establishing an independent citizen controlled authority with the power to investigate, indict and convict police officers throughout the state for misconduct. In all our campaigns, voter engagement remains central to how we build power.

Your generous contribution to the Workers Center for Racial Justice will be used to support our voter engagement work throughout the state, advance the growing cause of decriminalization of marijuana and push for strong police accountability.

Of course, your contribution is fully tax deductible, as WCRJ is a 501(c)3 organization.

Give the gift of hope and power with a generous contribution to the Workers Center for Racial Justice.


DeAngelo Bester
Executive Director


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