Category: Jobs

July 8, 2021 Domenica Ghanem

The Pandemic Cost Him Everything. But the Child Tax Credit Is Giving His Family Hope.

Phil came to the U.S. in search of opportunity, but when COVID-19 hit he lost his job, immigration status, and health care when he needed it the most. Name has […]

We Need a Permanent Expanded CTC for Our Children’s Futures

Topacio Marrero

Like many parents, the pandemic brought so much uncertainty into my family’s life. As a wife and mother of two young children, there was no amount of planning that could […]


Sa'iyda Shabazz

I vote because my life depends on it, literally and figuratively. As a Black, queer, low-income mother, another four years of what we’ve had feels like I’m signing over my own death certificate. 

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Ayanna Albertson

Digital Organizing In The Time of COVID In the age of social-distancing, many of our everyday leaders have shifted how they operate. From educators offering instruction from a virtual classroom […]

We need policies that harness the vital roles of community colleges

Michael Jackson

Our world has an increasing reliance on new, ever-changing technology that requires workers to have near-constant flexibility to upgrade, retrain, and retool their skills. It’s estimated that millions of ‘middle-skill […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Ayanna Albertson

Look What Florida is Doing to Procure Job Security for Women and People of Color In older generations, it was common to keep the same job for 10, 20 or […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

Power Concedes Nothing Without Demand This evening democratic candidates will gather at Otterbein University in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus, for the presidential primary debates. While they will be discussing […]

We’re Making Significant Steps Toward a New Federal Minimum Wage

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

In my years participating in progressive movements, fighting “the good fight” alongside other visionary activists and progressives with very different personalities, different strategies, and different campaigning styles, I have noticed […]

How The Gig Economy is Changing Work As We Know It

Catherine Bugayong

As the gig economy continues to grow, how has it changed the way we think of work, the economy, and laborers? In this episode of “A Living Wage,” Catherine Bugayong […]

My Family’s Curse

Jamal Meneide

When thinking about the American dream, we often believes that merit in equals results out—if you work hard enough, you deserve what you get. But is that always the case? […]

Transforming Pain into Power a Year After a Mass Raid

Isaias G

Around 150 people were gathered and said “Presente” after the names of each of person deported a year ago was read out loud. This was a gathering in early April […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2019 slate of finalists. This “short list” of nominees honors the year’s outstanding restaurants, chefs, and food-centric journalism, books, and broadcast media. Community […]

My Sister: A Domestic Worker. And My Hero!

Sulma Arias

The movie Roma has received all kinds of recognition and acclaim, including three Academy awards. Its  star, Yalitza Aparcio, a first-time actor who portrayed the lead role of a housekeeper […]

Proposed Work Requirements Rule for SNAP Could Harm Those Already Facing Hunger

Bobbi Dempsey

Implementing strict work requirements for safety net programs—particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—has been a recurring goal for many GOP leaders and the Trump administration. Concerned observers breathed a […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

What Kansas City Is Doing About The Readiness Gap “Approximately 65 percent of our children are not receiving the proper education that would close the readiness gap and eliminate any […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bonnie Page

My Story I grew up in the southeast area of Washington, DC and I attended Eastern Senior High School. The year was 1971, I was 15 years old and in […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

And the Young Shall Save Us So many economic protections are at stake with this new Congress. The most consequential midterm elections of our lifetime awaited our robust participation last […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

Cutting “Food Stamps” is Child Abuse Every Sunday Jose “Frankie” Benjamin-Nay, an 18-year old Puerto Rican-American, darkens the doors of Mount Zion Baptist Church to provide technical support for the […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

SNAP Benefits Guarantees Family’s Food Thirty-seven-year-old LeAnn is married with five children and five stepchildren (who live with their grandmother). She has a Master’s degree in business administration but can […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bobbi Dempsey

PA Group Strives to Bust Myths About SNAP—and People Who Use It Lisa Raditz cringes when she overhears some of the comments people make about SNAP recipients based on common […]

Supporting Food Entrepreneurs for Equity and Stronger Communities

Christen Hill

We can strengthen our communities by creating food systems that create new jobs and businesses through the people living here. DREAM (Dreaming Out Loud’s Ready for Entrepreneurship Accelerator Modules) is […]

Column: Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

I, like so many Americans of my era, believed… After 12 and a half years in an often stress-filled role as an associate director in public relations at a local […]

The hourly reality of life on a ‘living wage’

Catherine Bugayong

I am one of the 7.6 million Americans who has to work multiple jobs. I work three jobs so that I can meet my living expenses, pay bills, have health […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

The work of community organizers is daunting. Late nights. Endless knocking on doors. Rallies and protests to protect our healthcare, ensure we all have enough food to eat and keep […]

Returning to Life Outside Prison—Without Food on the Table

Willie Francois

This piece was co-published with Civil Eats Calvin* anticipates walking out of a New Jersey prison next month, hopefully for the last time, eager to live out his responsibilities as […]

Justice for marginalized communities not a factor in filling SCOTUS seat; it’s up to us to vote, voice our concerns now

Alaina Beverly

Whether you care about voting rights, affirmative action, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights and especially a woman’s right to control her own body, filling retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s […]

Ideas of MLK, RFK still needed today

Dorian Warren

This piece originally published in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. When President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1964, his audacious goal was to end poverty in the […]

Trump’s budget will take food away from the struggling families, children and the elderly who need it most

Holly Straut-Eppsteiner

Since the release of the 2019 Trump budget, a great deal of attention has focused on its proposal to eliminate half of families’ food assistance benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition […]

Thistle and Bee offers dignity, livable wage to women leaving local sex economy

Melonee Gaines

Vulnerable women get a second chance to build a life on their terms creating healthy, healing products

Universal pre-K won’t solve poverty. Better jobs will.

Wendi C. Thomas

Memphis council members promote politically safe investment in children while ignoring underpaid parents

EDGE Board signs off on Overton Square Hotel incentives

Wendi C. Thomas

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County EDGE board signed off on tax incentives for a boutique hotel in Overton Square. The Economic Development Growth Engine signed off on $6.1 million […]

May Day, May Day! Immigrant workers and low-wage workers unite

Micaela Watts

Struggle to survive on poverty wages builds solidarity among workers

Immigrant Rights Are Workers Rights

Thomas Kennedy

Bad policies that harm working Americans continue to chip away at our aspirations to strive.

Let’s Guarantee Every High School Student a Summer Job

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Photo credits to Flazingo Photos.  Originally posted on the Huffington Post.  In New York City, where the summer job program for high school students is run on a neighborhood lotto […]

Why Good Jobs Are Needed in the Food Stamp Debate

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Originally published on Equal Voice.  It’s already begun happening. In 2016, 500,000 to 1 million recipients will be officially cut from the “food stamp” rolls. Some reports say it could […]

‘Unlocking Opportunities’ Policy Brief

Joseph Pate

By: Dorian T. Warren, Chirag Mehta, Steve Savner Imagine a 21st-century jobs program that puts families first, makes extensive investments in America’s most impoverished places and creates millions of good […]

With $55,000 Debt, You Learn to Appreciate the Little Things

Stephanie Land

Originally posted on The Guardian as a kick-off to their series on debt. I expected college to feel like a major accomplishment. I walked across the stage, eight months pregnant with […]

Sheryl Sandberg Thinks She Finally Gets Single Moms, But She Doesn’t Get Me

Stephanie Land

Originally posted in SheKnows. I read Sheryl Sandberg’s recent Facebook post from the trenches of a horrible Mother’s Day weekend. The youngest had thrown up on Friday night, and we […]

Out of Homelessness, A Mom Turns Advocate

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published on Rooflines, a Shelterforce blog. Jenean F. and her husband worked hard to achieve the increasingly elusive American Dream. She was a stay at home mom and he […]

Jobs With Justice March: Recap

Fred McKissack Jr.

Of all the excellent moments at last weekend’s Jobs with Justice conference, the one the continues to stick out for me was when Melonie Griffiths yelled, “I am the movement!” […]

Worker Justice on Display in D.C. This Weekend

Fred McKissack Jr.

The state of worker justice will be on display this coming weekend in Washington, D.C. at the Jobs with Justice national conference. The two-day conference that begins Friday in the […]

There’s a Reason Black Youth Call Chicago ‘Chiraq’ and It’s Not Just Criminals Doing the Shooting

Fred McKissack Jr.

Written by Center for Communtiy Change Writing Fellow Fred McKissack. There’s a reason why young black people call Chicago “Chiraq.” It’s like a war zone in some neighborhoods. And it’s […]

Reinvesting In Poor Communities Must Be A Priority

Joseph Pate

Written by Anthony Newby, executive director for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change in Minneapolis and Dorian Warren, Center for Community Change board chairman. Originally posted on the Al Jazeera America. The […]

What do you do when you can’t afford childcare? You get creative.

Stephanie Land

Written by Center for Community Change Writing Fellow Stephanie Land. Originally posted on the Washington Post. At the start of my 10-minute break during a two-hour writing workshop, I looked […]

How New York’s “Fight for $15” Launched a Nationwide Movement

Fred McKissack Jr.

Co-authored by Center for Community Change Writing Fellow Wendi C. Thomas. Originally published in the American Prospect. Brooklyn car-wash worker Angel Rebolledo and Bronx fast-food employee Flavia Cabral work in […]

Mr. President: We don’t Need Gestures; We Need Action to Ban the Box

Steve Huerta

Earlier this week the President announced that his office was issuing a memorandum to Ban the Box for federal employment. What followed was an explosion of jubilant articles that once […]

What working families in Memphis want to GOP candidates to address on Thursday

Wendi C. Thomas

Pictured to the right: Ella Collins at a Home Care Fight for $15 rally Ten Republican presidential candidates will take the stage in Cleveland Thursday for the GOP’s first televised primary […]

A Worker’s Take On The New Overtime Proposal

Wendi C. Thomas

Originally posted on Talk Poverty and The Nation. As a manager for a national auto supply chain, Lora McCrary puts in between 50 and 70 hours a week remodeling stores […]

Putting good jobs at top of US policy agenda

Allie Carter

This post originally appeared here.  Even though she’s worked at the Checkers in Lincoln Park for four years, Mya Hill is still paid only $8.15 an hour – Michigan’s minimum […]

The Fight for Quality, Accessible Child Care is a Fight for Women’s Equality

Wendi C. Thomas

This piece was originally posted in the Montgomery Advertiser. Women’s History Month is about more than celebrating phenomenal women in history; it’s also about honoring the women who have dedicated […]

“I believe that we will win!”

Tamika Middleton

At 7:30 am, about 100 airport people marched into the atrium of the world’s busiest airport chanting, “We can’t survive on $7.25.” The crowd got bigger as they rallied, with […]

President Obama, Think Big in 2015

Robin Curran

It’s a new year, which means new resolutions, new inaugurations and the beginning of holding politicians accountable for their campaign promises. Last week I attended the Washington Interfaith Network’s (WIN) […]

Using Our Dollars as Voting Ballots

Mark Ortiz

While the country ramps up for another festive holiday season, people who work in retail jobs across the nation tend to cringe at the approaching days. The holidays can be […]

Working Families’ Lives Matter

Tamika Middleton

For the past several weeks, cities across the country have seen a multitude of protests and acts of civil disobedience following announcements that police officers would not be indicted in […]

When Enough Gets to Be Enough

Tamika Middleton

This blog was originally posted on the Voices for Human Needs blog.  On Monday night, thousands of people marched through downtown Atlanta in the pouring rain.  Most of them I […]

#WeEndPIC – We End the Prison Industrial Complex

Olivia Chow

Last week, the Center for Community Change, in partnership with Nation Inside, gathered more than 100 activists in Detroit for a national strategy meeting to end mass incarceration. Below is […]

Minimum Wage Momentum!

Donna DeLaCruz

Pictured here: People cheer the moment the minimum wage bill passes in the Seattle City Council. There have been a lot of minimum wage victories in the news lately. Yesterday, the […]

College Degrees Lead to Jobs… Right?

Abby Marco

The other day, someone asked me why I made my college decision. As I prepared one of my typical “I love the city/the political atmosphere is great/I wanted a challenge” […]

Building the Economic Strength of Women

Alesia Lucas

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and although it’s 2013, American women still lag behind men in paycheck fairness. Women still make a mere 64 cents for every dollar their […]

A Bus Tour, Full of Stories and Strength

Emily Gelbaum

Last week, the National Keeping Families Together Bus Tour launched from Chicago, IL carrying families and individuals directly impacted by the current immigration system. The bus riders are calling on […]

The Immigrant Community Comes Together

Jingru Huang

Leaders of the Asian Pacific American community are supporting the Keeping Families Together mission. Comprehensive immigration reform is essential because families should never be separated. When mentioning the “undocumented immigrants”, […]

Making Minimum Wage a Living Wage

Alesia Lucas

Overall, 77% of those who watched The State of the Union Address were pleased with what the President had to say.  It was a passionate plea and directive to the […]

The Poverty Predicament

Alesia Lucas

The word ‘poor’ is treated like a four-letter word by politicians. But with the downturn of our economy and slow job market, the issue of poverty has become more serious […]

The Youth Unemployment Problem

Alesia Lucas

The Center for Community Change recently released a report highlighting the issue of youth unemployment and under-employment entitled, “Establishing a Foothold in the Labor Market for Young Workers Through Subsidized […]

Keeping Families Together in our Fight for Immigration Reform

Alesia Lucas

This year has been a huge one for DREAMers who earlier this year were granted deferred action status. But the fight for DREAMers is not over. Although they now have […]

The High Cost of Low Wages

Alesia Lucas

As Congress debates the fiscal cliff, hopefully avoiding balancing the budget on the backs of workers, they should look at retail industry workers. The retail industry has bounced back from […]

A Message to the President and Congress: Listen to America!

Donna DeLaCruz

The 2012 elections show that Americans want President Obama and Congress to strengthen the middle class, put people back to work, embrace prosperity economics over austerity, and protect essential retirement […]

Why is Poverty Taboo in the Presidential Campaigns?

Kathleen Tresslar

A lot of important issues were discussed during the first presidential debate. President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney were eager to discuss the middle and upper class, but […]

What’s the Matter with the Middle Class?

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld

Last week, “class” was in the news. But – as usual for most all of our political discourse – the focus was on the struggles of the amorphous “middle” class, […]

Hungry American Children

Alesia Lucas

There have been a lot of speeches at both the Democratic and Republican Conventions, but only Jeff Bridges has spoken at both.  Unfortunately, Bridges speech will not garner the much […]

Working Women of Color and Wages

Alesia Lucas

Women are more likely than their male counterparts to pursue higher education (see graph on right); and yet they still don’t make more money. Latino women make 60 cents for […]

The Real Homeless Hotspots

Anton Conkle

The annual music festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) typically generates tons of publicity each year. Held in Austin, Texas, the 10-day festival includes news conferences on the latest technological trends, […]

In Search of Solidarity

Ashley Ferguson

Something seems to be missing these days in America, and it’s the spirit of solidarity. It seems like we’ve been a country of “what’s in it for me” for a […]

One Family’s Struggle to Find Jobs

Donna DeLaCruz

Among the hundreds of people at a rally last week in Charlotte, N.C., calling on Congress to create more jobs to get our economy going again were two sisters and […]

Come Join ‘Job’s for #Young America Day’ on the Hill

Megan Salzman

Are you one of the many youth who is unemployed and frustrated with our nation’s high unemployment levels? If so, then this is the event for you! The Young Invincibles, […]

Let’s Target Infrastructure Jobs to Communities Most in Need

Rich Stolz

Today the Transportation Equity Network released a national report ranking the states based on how well they prepare and create job opportunities for low-income and minority residents and women on transportation infrastructure […]

Turning Anger Into Hope

Deepak Bhargava

Americans are angry these days. You can see it at the Occupy Wall Street protests. You see it in states where governors have pushed through severe anti-union measures that are […]

A College Senior’s Outlook on the Economy

Donna DeLaCruz

Kelissa Hieber is a student on a mission. The senior at Miami University in Ohio has an internship she loves at We Are Ohio. The Integrative Studies major is focusing […]

A View of Obama’s Jobs Plan from Ohio

Donna DeLaCruz

Heather Wingo is a native of Chillicothe, Ohio and wanted to build a better future for her two young children. Working as a server and jack of all trades at […]

A Sad Holiday this Labor Day

Donna DeLaCruz

As Labor Day approaches, let’s remember this is a day to celebrate working men and women. If only the unemployment rate wasn’t so high, it would truly be a great […]

48 Years Ago Today…

Marvin Randolph

Most people remember Aug. 28, 1963 as the day Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington. What most people don’t […]

Jobs, Justice and the American Dream

Zachary Langway

The following remarks were delivered by Arlene Holt Baker, Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO and a Center for Community Change board member, at today’s symposium, “Jobs, Justice and the […]

Pessimistic Prospects of a 20-Something: Scenes From a Job Fair

Julia Clunn

No one is untouched by the economic problems our country currently faces. At the very least we all know someone who has been foreclosed on, have a family member who […]

The Real Debt Danger

Ayanna Albertson

  The debt debate has become one of those ear-numbing topics of conversation where you can’t tell anymore what’s worth listening to. There have been so many proposed plans and […]

Get to Know a Host #3: Julia Deak

Ayanna Albertson

Julia Deak of Seattle, Washington plans to host a house meeting to rebuild the American Dream on the weekend of July 17. Julia took a few minutes to talk with […]

Kasich, The Puppet

Julia Clunn

While some of us may still have hope that Democrats will hold their ground against GOP determination to cut Social Security and other entitlements, Ohio residents are struggling against their […]

Unemployment Numbers and the Money Trail

Gabe Gonzalez

It takes money to make money. Everybody knows that. If you want to start a business, you need money to set the business up. You have to advertise, there are […]

What the President Should Learn from Joe

Ayanna Albertson

Late last night, Obama administration officials  announced that they’re willing to cut Social Security—along with more cuts to Medicare—to reach a deal on the budget. Let’s be honest. Retirement security […]

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