Jesse DeWitt

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Jesse R. DeWitt

Clergy and Laity Concerned, Chicago Chapter

In 1983, Jesse R. Dewitt, United Methodist Church, N. Ill. Conference, served on the Board of Directors for the Clergy and Laity Concerned, Chicago Chapter. [1]

Arise Chicago

Arise Chicago, formerly Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues, was founded by Monsignor Jack Egan, Rabbi Robert Marx, United Methodist Bishop Jesse DeWitt and Kim Bobo in 1991.[2]

With knowledge that the basic tenets of all faith traditions support the rights of workers, Arise Chicago organizes the religious community to bring about just resolutions to workplace injustice.
When workers wish to form a union, they are often met with intimidation and harassment. Arise Chicago organizes religious leaders through its Faith and Labor Solidarity program to support workers seeking unionization.

Interfaith Worker Justice

Interfaith Worker Justice was founded in 1996 with the mission of "engaging the religious community in low-wage worker campaigns and rebuilding partnerships with the labor movement."

Kim Bobo, IWJ Executive Director, founded the organization using her bedroom as an office and a $5,000 bequest left to her by her grandmother as the initial budget. Despite these humble origins, she had mighty helpers as part of her original Board of Directors. This founding group included Rabbi Robert Marx, Bishop Jesse DeWitt, Monsignor George Higgins, Monsignor Jack Egan, Rev. James Lawson, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. Michael Rouse, Rev. Addie Wyatt, Rev. Dr. Paul Sherry, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, Monsignor Phil Murnion, Rev. Wayne Stumme, Bishop James Malone, Sr. Nancy Sylvester, Rev. Jim Sessions, Ms. Evely Laser-Shlensky, Mr. Thomas Shellabarger and Mr. J. Chris Sanders.

In just eleven years, IWJ has organized a national network of more than 70 interfaith committees, workers' centers and student groups, making it the leading national organization working to strengthen the religious community's involvement in issues of workplace justice.[3]


  1. Clergy and Laity Concerned, Metro Chicago chapter letterhead, March 22, 1983