Illinois Workers in Action was founded in January 2021 by co-founders Giselle Rodriguez and Michael Whitley.
Illinois Workers in Action (IWA) is a 501C3 nonprofit organization and covers the state of Illinois. The organization was formed to create change in the workplace for all workers regardless of their type of employment. IWA wants to make sure that everyone has the necessary tools to succeed in their workplace. There are a lot of employers/companies that take advantage of employees and are left in vulnerable situations as they have not had the opportunity to learn their rights and how to organize.
The organization’s impact goes beyond educating and supporting workers. IWA is committed to solidifying and uniting the Latinx and Black community. With the work the organization does, it demonstrates both groups that it is imperative to work together as both face injustices in their workplace. Having training and conversations around racial justice and how both groups are affected in the workplace has helped workers understand that they must work together for a common goal.
Illinois Workers in Action's (IWA) mission is to empower workers through education, organizing, policy, solidarity, worker power, and rights. IWA strives to build worker power in immigrant, Latinx, and black communities by working to advance systemic change that promotes racial and social justice and stabilizes low-income immigrants and communities of color.
IWA provides these services free of charge and without regard to immigration status.
Meet The Team
Illinois Workers in Action strives to educate, organize and build leadership in their workplace and community.
Labor Rights Education
Illinois Workers in Action (IWA) provides Labor Rights Education to workers around the Chicagoland area and suburbs through a series of virtual trainings for workers on workers' rights, COVID19 safety, and technology 101.
IWA provides referrals to immigration attorneys and Know Your Rights trainings to help community members know their rights as workers regardless of citizenship status when interacting with law enforcement, ICE, or CBP. IWA also sits at the Immigrant Worker Advocacy Table where, at a national level, we discuss issues affecting immigrant workers and solutions.
Leadership & Advocacy
IWA supports different local and federal campaigns such as the Federal campaign for OSHA on worker protections against COVID19 and Citizenship for All.
Public Health & Community Resources
IWA participates in the following areas of public health: food nutrition, COVID19, and connecting workers with resources based on their needs. As a recipient of the “Vaccine Community Mobilization Grant Fund" IWA provided trainings to workers on COVID19 safety guidelines, a hotline to report workplaces that weren't following these guidelines, and distributed PPE.
Partners & Funders
Crossroads Fund supports community organizations working on issues of racial, social and economic justice in the Chicago area.