Rene Sanchez of University of Portland addresses the faith/labor breakfast.
Liberation was the theme of this year's annual Jobs with Justice Faith, Labor, and Community breakfast held at St. Philip Neri Church in February. Rene Sanchez, visiting assistant professor of theology at the University of Portland, was one of the opening presenters. To bring about change effectively, Sanchez said, people need to act together.
"God only makes sense in community," he explained. "None of us has the whole answer. We need to work together. We need community."
Resistance takes the form of "righteous indignation," Sanchez said, as we "fight for justice . . . and care for the least among us."
"Lowering our resistance to injustice is liberation," he said.
Several participants told individual stories of their own struggles for justice. Alicia Carroll spoke about recovering lost wages at Yaws, and Sindy Avila recounted her work with undocumented immigrants. Helen Quirino, a member of Church Women United and a Catholic activist in Portland, told the story of breaking the color line in Portland.
"These are all stories of liberation," Sanchez said.
The breakfast ended with participants at their tables telling their own stories of struggle and working for justice, then joining hands and singing "We Shall Overcome."