Although faith-based organizing is not rare, it’s my personal experience that most organizers in social justice spaces are atheists or agnostics. This would be an uninteresting observation if it were not for the fact that most Latinx workers are religious. When Jasiel Lopez revealed that his activism was born out of organizing in his church, I immediately understood why organizers like him are crucial. It’s often said that an organizer is an agitator, but an organizer is also a messenger of hope.
Jasiel is an organizer with Centro De Trabajadores Unidos. CTU is a grassroots movement and worker center based out of Chicago’s south and southwest suburbs, which are predominantly Black, Latinx and working poor. CTU hosts immigrant rights workshops and develops community leaders to take on workplace and community issues.
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Arturo “Tootie” Alvarez is based in Chicago. He trucks. He writes. Not at the same time. Twitter @TootieAlvarez.