Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce my transition out of the role of Executive Director of Portland Jobs with Justice.

As I prepare to leave my role as Executive Director and reflect on our accomplishments, I am touched, humbled and so very grateful to have been a part of Portland Jobs with Justice and the National Jobs with Justice network. Portland JwJ is a progressive grassroots organization that has always pushed the envelope in shifting social paradigms to advocate and take action for the rights of those left out of the benefits and promise of economic justice and full social inclusion.

Over the past two years, together with our community, we have won big for working people in Oregon with the Fight for $15, the successful fight to Stop the TPP, and working with our city to divest from socially irresponsible financial institutions like Wells Fargo. We have mobilized supporters to nearly one hundred actions a year, and leverage thousands of volunteer hours annually in support of faith, labor, community, youth, and student organizations. In the past two years our coalition has grown by dozens of organizations and pledgers. Our organization is financially stronger than it has been ever before, and our financial and CRM systems are in the process of being updated to meet the demands and opportunities of organizing in 21st century.

We have stopped deportations, and trained hundreds of students and new organizers and activists in nonviolent action, de-escalation and safety, creative intervention, power analysis, and the benefits of being organized at work. Our solidarity squad and the work we do with the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition is setting a model for the entire Jobs with Justice national network for how to keep all our communities safe in this period.

I am so proud of our new work centering racial justice and gender justice at the intersections with workers rights and economic justice. Portlanders are positioned at the leading edge of community and labor intersections with our work advancing racial justice and Black Lives Matter in bargaining for the common good with our labor union partners. Similarly, our new collaboration with enlace, Q Center, and Interfaith Worker Justice to train working people usually not seen as the capable and brilliant leaders they are – people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and young workers – in their rights at work, workers safety and health, and organizing and leadership development is groundbreaking and sorely needed in our movement ecosystem.

Last but not least, Portland Jobs with Justice has an impressive and experienced Board that is well-positioned to shepherd Portland JwJ during these tumultuous times throughout the nation.  As well, our dedicated and talented staff and community are committed to support the grassroots organizing and leadership development of low-wage working people, people of color, queer and trans people, women, and youth for the leadership that we need.

Once more, I thank all of you who have supported me during my tenure at Portland Jobs with Justice. We have shared many amazing, sometimes challenging, but always heartwarming, and wonderful times.  I am looking forward to my new role as a supporter of Portland JwJ, and upholding and sustaining my commitment to the powerful, extraordinary, and exemplary work of people of color, LGBTQ people, women, trans, and gender nonconforming people, and youth.  I will continue in my role as Executive Director while the Board Hiring Committee works on finding our next Executive Director.  I will then move into a support and resource role during the new Executive Director’s first weeks to ensure the organization’s continuity and stability during this important transition.

As the search begins for a new Executive Director, I hope you will help us find the right candidate to take Portland Jobs with Justice’s work to the next level. If you have any ideas or questions about the job announcement, please contact our Personnel Committee at jobs@jwjpdx.org. See the full job announcement here.

From the bottom of my heart, my sincere gratitude to all of you, and I hope you will join me in strengthening our commitment and support to Portland Jobs with Justice.   

In solidarity,

D Pei Wu, PhD.

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