The 2019 Solidarity Awards & Cocktail Party

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By supporting the 2019 Solidarity Awards, you are supporting a movement of working-class communities which continues to grow in size, influence, and resolve. Your support today, will ensure that our members may continue to plant the seeds that one day grow.

NJ Communities United hosts the annual Solidarity Awards to honor and celebrate the movements, leaders, and people who courageously fight against the Wall Street backed corporate entities that profit by exploiting and extracting local resources from our communities. These same interests collude with politicians who attempt to disenfranchise our communities by stripping us of decision making power over our schools, our homes, our health care, and all the public resources that should be inherited by the generations who will follow. 

The theme of the 2019 Solidarity Awards is a celebration of the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Archbishop Romero eloquently said,  "We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own." This is a guiding principle of the work we do at NJ Communities United. The life of Oscar Romero inspires the work of NJ Communities United and fuels the commitment of our members as we fight to transform the democratic processes over the financial and political institutions which determine the living conditions we experience in our communities. The work we are doing today is not for short term gains. Our members know that the struggle for freedom and liberation is a constant battle.  Our communities understand that a victory today paves the path forward for generations who will continue to grow the movement for social justice. 

Archbishop Oscar Romero lived and died fighting for the poor and working class people of El Salvador during the country's violent civil war. He was considered a hero and a beacon of hope for the people of El Salvador, and a threat to the wealthy elite who controlled the government and military forces. Archbishop Romero was assassinated by US backed military forces while delivering mass from the pulpit. This was one day after he condemned the acts of violence and murder committed by the country's army against the people of El Salvador. Although Archbishop Romero did not live to witness the end of the civil war, the seeds he planted during his lifetime fueled a generation of revolutionaries and served as the foundation for re-building the country. In October of 2018, Archbishop Romero was canonized by the Catholic Church, and is now recognized as Saint Romero.  

NJCU began organizing in the working class communities of Newark in 2012.  By 2019, NJCU can claim and celebrate significant victories as we continue to fight for systemic change that transforms the relationships between our communities and the institutions of established power. The members of NJCU have:

  • Led the fight to end the state takeover of Newark Public Schools
  • Pressured the NJ State Investment Council to divest pension funds from hedge funds - the largest hedge fund divestment in the country 
  • Secured increases in child care subsidies for low-income parents of children with special needs, and for the children of underage parents
  • Demanded statewide legislation be introduced which will curb medical debt practices and establish stricter regulations on medical debt that is sent to collections
  • Called for statewide legislation that is being considered which will protect homeowners from aggressive foreclosure practices
  • Stopped the growth of corporate run Renaissance schools in our state
  • Inspired the Board of Chosen Freedholders of Essex County to divest from Wells Fargo due to predatory banking practices

By supporting the 2019 Solidarity Awards, you are supporting a movement of working-class communities which continues to grow in size, influence, and resolve. Your support today, will ensure that our members may continue to plant the seeds that one day grow.

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New Jersey Communities United
Community Values. Collective Action. A Strong New Jersey.