Rev. C.J. Hawking, Executive Director
Rev. C.J. Hawking, Executive Director of Arise Chicago since 2007, has been partnering with religious leaders to bring a fuller measure of God’s justice to the workplace since 1993. She has organized faith-labor coalitions in five U.S. cities. She currently serves as the Harry F. Ward Pastor for Social Justice at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church in Oak Park. Hawking is a visiting lecturer on labor and social movements at the University of Illinois and co-authored Staley: The Fight for the New American Labor Movement (University of Illinois Press, 2009) which won three Book of the Year awards.
Adam Kader, Worker Center Director
Adam Kader received his master’s degree in Urban Planning and Public Policy with a concentration in Community Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received degrees in Anthropology and Spanish, with a minor in Gender Studies, from Lawrence University. As part of his research in Bolivia, he studied with a feminist organization and met with indigenous leaders, including Evo Morales. He has taught the “Labor and Social Movements” course at the University of Illinois. He currently serves on the National Advisory Committee of the Labor Research Action Network and on the Board of Directors of the Raise the Floor Alliance. Before joining Arise Chicago in 2006, he worked as a research assistant at the Great Cities Institute and worked in immigrant adult education at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Centro Romero, and Albany Park Community Center. Adam is fluent in English and Spanish.
Sophia Olazaba, Development Director
received her BA in Political Science and Spanish at Indiana University Northwest. She brings a combination of knowledge on union and labor rights, non-profit foundations, and political work through her time working with United Steelworkers, Chicago Foundation for Women, as well as previously managing congressional, senatorial and aldermanic races as well as unionizing in the workplace. Sophia has been tasked to lead fundraising efforts and build the capacity of the organization. The daughter of immigrants, she also brings a deep connection and commitment to immigrant worker rights.
Shelly Ruzicka, Communications Director
Shelly is the great granddaughter of Polish and Czech immigrants, and daughter of a public school teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Intercultural Studies at Elmhurst College and received the Founders Award for Service, the college’s highest honor awarded a student. Shelly studied for a semester at Oxford University, and later spent an academic summer term in Ecuador. She has participated as a former grantee representative on a Crossroads Fund grant-making committee, presented at a Center for Nonprofit Success Fundraising Summit, and has provided peer support on fundraising and administrative systems to other worker centers around the country. Shelly also serves as Co-Chair on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fair Trade. She participated in the inaugural class of the ReFrame strategic communications program in 2015. As Communications Director, she manages press outreach, new media, ally communications, oversees Arise finances, and supports the domestic workers campaign. She has blogged for Gapers Block, Labor Notes, and Dignity at Work; and has photos published by The Nation, Dissent, Gapers Block, and Dignity at Work. Shelly speaks English and Spanish.
Margarita Valenzuela Klein, Membership Director
is the daughter of political refugees from Chile and has been dedicated to workers’ rights and social justice for over two decades. Margarita brings a culmination of 20 years experience in the workers rights and labor movement to Arise Chicago. She has experience training teams of workers to create workplace demands, win union representation, and make concrete workplace improvements. Having won awards for Labor Woman of the Year for the Chicago Federation of Labor, 100 of Chicago’s most influential women, as well as featured and profiled with the Chicago Tribune, Margarita brings her experience and passion for workers’ rights and organizing to Arise.
Ania Jakubek, Domestic Worker Organizer
Ania was born in Poland. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Warsaw. She came to the U.S. in 1998 and worked as a domestic worker. She later received her an associates degree in fine arts from Truman College. From 2005 till 2010, she worked for the Northwest Neighborhood Federation as an organizer. She is a co-founder of the Polish Initiative of Chicago where she recruited and developed a core leadership team. As Domestic Worker Organizer, Ania recruits and trains domestic worker members, including at a 2-day health and safety, and leadership training in partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Ania is fluent in Polish and English.
Jorge Mújica, Strategic Campaigns Organizer
Jorge Mújica was born in Mexico City and participated in several popular movements in Mexico until he moved to the United States in 1987. As a journalist, he worked in several Spanish language newspapers, in Univision and Telemundo Spanish TV stations, and won two “First Place” awards by the National Association of Hispanic Publishers. As an activist, Jorge has collaborated with many labor unions in organizing and election campaigns, picket lines, and strikes, and is a member of several community organizations dealing with Mexico-USA issues, from remittances to the right to vote from abroad. He is one of the three conveners of the historic immigrant rights marches in Chicago in 2006, and ran for the US Congress in 2009, representing the immigration movement in the electoral arena. As Strategic Campaigns Organizer he works with large groups of workers who are interested in organizing for long-term workplace improvements. Jorge is fluent in Spanish and English.
Luke Sullivan, Religious Organizer
Luke Sullivan is Arise Chicago’s Religious Organizer, hired after serving two years as a full-time volunteer through the Dominican Volunteers USA Year of Service Program. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Microbiology and Spanish. While in school, he was vice-president for two years of United-2-Heal, an interfaith humanitarian aid organization that collects and redistributes surplus medical supplies from area hospitals and ships them to resource-poor hospitals around the world, focusing mainly on the country of Ghana. As Religious Organizer he builds religious support for Worker Center and union worker campaigns and coordinates the annual Labor in the Pulpit/on the Bimah/in the Minbar program. Luke speaks English and Spanish.