Workers in the Pulpit / Bimah / Minbar
Labor Day Weekend 2018
Though it has become synonymous with cook-outs and the end of summer, Labor Day’s meaning is rooted in the value and importance of workers and their labor. For allies of faith in the Fair Food Nation, Labor Day (Sep. 1-2) represents an opportunity to amplify the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ longstanding struggle for justice in the fields.
With the CIW’s second-ever corporate boycott in full swing, Labor Day also provides a platform to take meaningful action in response to Wendy’s unconscionable refusal to commit to the Fair Food Program.
Wendy’s participation in the Fair Food Program is necessary in order to shrink the market for growers that continue to abuse workers with impunity, and make human rights and worker-driven social responsibility an industry standard – therein lies the urgency of our call. As people of diverse faith traditions, and as people of conscience, we stand behind farmworkers’ unrelenting and righteous pursuit of justice.
What can our congregation do?
During Labor Day weekend this year, the CIW invites leaders and communities of faith to incorporate the fight for Fair Food and the Wendy’s Boycott into the weekend’s religious services – through sermon, ritual, prayer, or another avenue – and then take action at a local Wendy's restaurant to show Wendy’s that the longer they stall, the longer they delay – and thereby deny – justice, the louder and more insistent our call will be.
Participating congregations are asked to choose a local Wendy's restaurant and organize some form of public witness: a flyering event, a demonstration, a pray-in, a vigil, or some other form of protest. The resource guide includes ideas and for planning an action of any size as well as action materials, including a printable Boycott Wendy's flyer, a chant sheet, and a letter for Wendy's management.
If you're in South or Southwest Florida, you can invite a CIW farmworker leader to speak to your congregation during or after services. Email us to coordinate a visit!
We've compiled an AFF Labor Day Worship Resource guide (downloadable here) that includes resources such as service elements, sermon points, campaign background, and links to supplemental texts, readings, and reflections that may be of use in your sacred gatherings during Labor Day weekend (and beyond!).
This AFF guide is complemented by Interfaith Worker Justice’s excellent “Labor in the Pulpits/Bimah/Minbar” resources specific to various religious traditions, which can be found online on IWJ’s website.
Let us know if you're participating by filling out this form!