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IFT President recognized by Chicago Jobs with Justice

9/30/2016
The IFT is proud to congratulate our very own, President Dan Montgomery, for being honored with the 2016 Charlie Hayes Award by Chicago Jobs with Justice (CJWJ).

The annual award recognizes individuals whose efforts are making a positive difference for workers, families, and our communities.



During a reception on September 15, Montgomery said he was honored to accept the award. He explained to the audience of labor and progressive activists that, in the beginning, he had expected to teach for his entire career. “But along the way, I became a union leader and it’s been a great honor and privilege. Along the way, I discovered that I loved it.”

Karen Lewis, IFT Executive Vice President and president of the Chicago Teachers Union, introduced Montgomery at the event. “Dan understands that our fight for justice will never end if we try to do it by ourselves,” she said. “He knows it, he recognizes it, and he appreciates the notion of trying to build solidarity with other unions, with the community, and with parents, because this is the way forward,” she insisted.

The labor movement and progressive groups like Jobs with Justice have a history of partnering with others who share our values. This year, the Chicago-based group is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a coalition of labor, faith, and community organizations fighting together for workers’ rights and social and economic justice.

Montgomery said that teaching helped him see how the work done by CJWJ and the labor movement is essential to building strong families and brighter futures for students.

“I discovered a long time ago that I could work really hard to be the best teacher I could be, and I did…but nothing will have as great an impact on the life of a child than if they walk in one day and say, ‘Mr. Montgomery, my dad lost his job,’ or ‘My mom lost her job,’" he said. “That will have a bigger impact on their lives than anything I can do as a teacher. So it’s an honor to work as a teacher with Jobs for Justice.”

Congratulations, President Montgomery!
 

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