Written by Anthony Moujaes
For almost two decades, Kim Bobo has been at the forefront as a leader and innovator, striving to ensure the rights of workers. She has given her fellow United Church of Christ members an avenue to put their faith into action by advocating on matters of fair wages, paid sick days and wage theft.
But after 18 years of building and growing the organization, Bobo, the founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, has decided to transition out of the leadership role in the next six to eight months.
"This is the greatest job in the world, because Interfaith Worker Justice is working on the most important issues facing the nation," Bobo said. "We focus on real campaigns and issues that generate concrete improvements in people's lives, and the leaders in the affiliate network, board of directors and staff are wonderfully amazing people. The work has been a gift to me, and I know it will be for the next director."
The organization is seeking a new executive director, who will be based in either Chicago or Washington, D.C.
Edith Rasell, who is the UCC’s minster for economic justice, has worked closely with Bobo and called her "an amazing leader and person of faith."
"Since founding Interfaith Worker Justice 18 years ago, it has grown under her leadership to be a powerful force for worker justice," Rasell said. "IWJ also provides a way for people of faith — including many throughout the UCC — to put our faith into action by standing with and fighting for justice for low-wage workers across the country.
During the course of the next 12 months, Bobo plans to help with the transition of the new director and shift to an out-of-the-office role to work on a few special projects for IWJ, and is particularly keen to do some writing that shares IWJ’s work. She also wants to continue her contribution to for social change.
A member of Good News Community Church in Chicago, Bobo is a friend, colleague and mentor to many in several settings of the UCC, and has been recognized for her work by the UCC Justice and Witness Ministries.
Former UCC general minister and president the Rev. Paul Sherry said Bob is "an outstanding justice advocate."
"Eighteen years seems a fitting time," Bobo said. "As a parent, which founders feel like, you know how important it is to allow your kids to grow and flourish without you."