Community Organizing in the Fight for Economic Justice
Colin O’Malley, organizing director of Rochester’s Metro Justice, will speak about his work with local and national justice groups and the specific efforts he has contributed to.
Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall
Wells College welcomes Colin O’Malley, organizing director of Rochester’s Metro Justice, for a talk titled “Community Organizing in the Fight for Economic Justice.” O’Malley will speak about his work with local and national justice groups and the specific campaigns and efforts that he has contributed to; the talk will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17 in the Art Exhibit Room of Macmillan Hall on the Wells College campus. This event is free, and all are welcome to attend.
O’Malley has been the organizing director of Metro Justice since 2011, working to coordinate community responses to the recent economic crisis through their campaign “The Fight for Economic Justice.” This campaign brought together community demands for high quality public education, preserving and expanding social security, an end to unjust bank foreclosures and universal health care into an umbrella demand for economic justice. In his talk, O’Malley will discuss these efforts and the need for local organizations to promote democratic outcomes in the future.
O’Malley began organizing at the age of 17 as part of the Buffalo Activist Network. Since then he has worked with Buffalo Jobs with Justice, held a national leadership position with United Students against Sweatshops, participated in a Justice for Janitors campaign at the University at Buffalo, and helped build a tenants union for public housing tenants in Buffalo. He spent 2007 in Argentina learning from the Recuperated Factories Movement and brings much of his inspiration from the movements of Argentina to his work. In 2009, as a hotel worker, he participated in a drive to unionize his hotel in Buffalo.
“We believe that our world can be more just, equal, peaceful and fulfilling for all people,” said O’Malley. “And, we know that it’s through organization building and political activism that we will create that world. We take seriously the advice of Frederick Douglass that power concedes nothing without demand and that without struggle, there can be no progress.”
Since 1965, Metro Justice has brought together socially-conscious, politically-active, and justice-oriented members of the Rochester area. The organization has coordinated campaigns against war and economic inequality as well as actively supporting racial justice and solidarity with Latin America. Their current efforts include task forces and committees in support of these goals and the development of a 7-point program for economic justice.
The event at Wells College is supported by the College’s Social and Economic Justice minor and the Office of Experiential Learning and Career Services.