Today, two Rockefeller Foundation grantees were among a group honored by the White House as “Champions of Change” for their efforts to raise wages for working women and men around the country. The honorees include activists, advocates, business owners, and workers who, through community involvement, hard work, and sacrifice, are looking to ensure that no American working 40 hours a week should have to live or raise a family in poverty.
Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project (NELP), was honored for the leading role she and NELP have played in the federal minimum wage campaigns of the past two decades. This work started with the coalition that won the 1996 increase and extends to coordination of the current campaign to raise the federal minimum wage to a historic high of more than $10.00 an hour.
Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC), was honored for ROC’s efforts to organize restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research, and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, and launch cooperatively-owned restaurants.
We at The Rockefeller Foundation commend these Champions for their continued efforts to ensure equity among workers and promote inclusive, sustainable economies.