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All You That LaborReligion and Ethics in the Living Wage Movement$
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C. Melissa Snarr

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814741122

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814741122.001.0001

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“I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me”

“I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me”

Bridge Building and Political Engagement in Racialized Economies

Chapter:
(p.66) 3 “I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me”
Source:
All You That Labor
Author(s):

C. Melissa Snarr

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814741122.003.0004

This chapter discusses the role of religious organizations in multiracial and ethnic living wage organizing. Religious activists take on two major racialized functions within the living wage movement: bridge building and political activation. Bridge building involves the work of ideology translation, relational repair, and inclusion monitoring in coalitions. Political activation involves cultivating the resources necessary to enhance political participation. Through these activities, activists improve the moral agency of low-wage workers and their allies by offering pathways for building a collective identity across difference. They also provide opportunities for more marginalized persons to cultivate key civic skills. Continued meditation on the multiple dimensions of theological solidarity—preferential accountability, structural conscientization, identity recognition, and expansive moral agency—can help religious allies evaluate their work.

Keywords:   religious organizations, racialized economies, bridge building, political activation, moral agency, low-wage workers, collective identity, theological solidarity

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