Sunday, September 28, 2014

October Sunday Forums to focus on economic justice

Join the discussion as we learn from experts in the field and consider how we might respond.

Sunday, October 5: Children at the Border.   More than 66,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the border.  In the last year more than 47,000 children have crossed.  More than 1,400 of those children have recently been relocated to North Carolina.  We have 170 of the children in Wake County.  There are many legal and moral issues involved.  Ann Robertson and Hans Linnartz will join us at Forum to discuss this child immigrant crisis.    Ann is an immigration lawyer with the Robertson Immigration Law Firm in Raleigh.  The firm represents individuals and companies in all aspects of immigration law, including employment-based and family-based immigration, naturalization, citizenship, asylum and non-immigrant visas.  Hans is a Raleigh immigration lawyer whose practice emphasizes deportation defense, immigration consequences of criminal cases and appeals of denied immigration benefits.  He teaches Immigration and Nationality Law at Duke Law School and also directs the Summer Institute on Law, Language and Culture.

Sunday, October 12:   Reforming North Carolina's Redistricting Process.  Our current redistricting process is unfair, partisan, divisive, often skewed and non competitive.   It doesn't have to be this way.  A speaker from the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform will present a proposal for a non-partisan redistricting process in North Carolina (House Bill 606) that will reduce partisan divisions and ensure fairness and equity.  The Coalition is a non partisan group of almost 50 individuals and groups, which works to make government more transparent and responsive to the people of North Carolina.

Sunday, October 19: Giving Low Wage Workers a Voice.   Fast food CEOs are some of the highest paid in the U.S.  Fast food workers are some of the lowest paid in the economy, earning on average around $9.00 per hour.  Their wages have increased just 0.3 percent in real dollars since 2000.  The ratio of CEO pay to the employees is over 1,000 to 1.  One out of 2 fast food workers' families depends on public assistance that costs taxpayers nearly 7 billion dollars nationally.  In North Carolina $264 million is spent every year to provide public assistance for 54% of fast-food workers.  A speaker from NC Raise Up will share information about their efforts to improve fast food workers' pay and help employees receive a liveable wage.

Sunday, October 26: How Churches are Helping the Unemployed.  Being unemployed and trying to find a job is challenging and stressful.  The StepUp Ministry in Raleigh provides a structured program and resources to help people prepare for work and find a job.  Laura Martin, Development Director of the StepUp Ministry, will share information about their ministry to help people minimize and resolve the many challenges they face in finding employment.  They focus on job training and placement, life skills development and long-term stability.  There are opportunities for volunteers to participate in this program.

- submitted by the Economic Justice Task Force