Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan

Advancing economic justice in Michigan

aka EJAM   |   Detroit, MI   |  http://www.mieconomicjustice.org/

Mission

The Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan (EJAM) is a long-term collaboration of community organizations aiming to build the power and impact of low-income and working-class communities across the state.

Ruling year info

2016

President

DeWayne Wells

Main address

4750 Woodward Avenue Suite 215

Detroit, MI 48201 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-4734132

NTEE code info

Employee & Workers' Rights (R29)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Michigan is among the states seeking to limit progressive elected officials’ authority by changing electoral rules and suppressing the public’s vote on relevant ballot initiatives. Often, decisions marginalize and penalize people of color, blocking their participation in the state’s economic recovery. EJAM addresses injustices suffered within these communities (many with high populations of low- and moderate-wage workers) by empowering them to fight for income equity and employee rights.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Michigan Economic Justice Fellowship

This intensive training is designed for minimum- and low-wage earners who are interested in making an impact in their community by helping workers gain more respect and compensation. Through 12 days of training over the course of eight months, participants learn how to be leaders in Michigan’s economic justice movement.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Michigan Economic Justice Fellowship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Through organizing, EJAM raises awareness about the damaging effects concentrated wealth and power have on communities. Currently, it is engaged in campaigns for earned paid sick time and one fair wage. Despite signs of recovery, the divide between those with adequate financial resources and those without is growing in Michigan. What this means is that more families are living in poverty even though many of these households consist of two workers, holding down full-time employment. Many low-wage employees are facing dire economic circumstances. Without concerted effort to bring the challenges experienced by families with low income to the attention of voters and policymakers, Michigan’s economy will stall, and people will continue to struggle to meet their most basic needs.

EJAM focuses on one fair wage (OFW) and earned paid sick time (EPST). In 2018, nearly 400,000 voters signed petitions to place both issues on the ballot. If approved, they would have increased the minimum wage, raised the subminimum rate for tipped workers, and required employers to offer paid time off. The legislature adopted the proposals before the November election, making it easier to amend them. Both EPST and OFW were gutted during the legislative lame-duck session. The stripped-down versions of the laws were in-acted in March 2019. Since then, EJAM, its members, and allies filed 14 amicus briefs declaring the body’s adopt and amend ploy as unconstitutional and in opposition to voters’ will. The Michigan Supreme Court held a hearing on this issue in July 2019.

Another issue for EJAM is leadership development. EJAM’s signature program is its Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan fellowship, which cultivates grassroots leaders who advocate for their communities on issues of wage insecurity. Designed for low- and minimum-wage earners, this intensive training teaches those who are interested in making an impact by helping workers gain more respect and compensation at work. It instills participants with valuable community organizing skills that can help them advocate as well as secure meaningful and higher-paying employment. Fellows learn how to be leaders in Michigan’s economic justice movement by developing a broader understanding of the political landscape and strengthening core leadership skills to engage more fully in issue campaigns.

EJAM leverages the content expertise and relationships of its members to bring attention to economic inequity, racial bias, and barriers to democracy. It provides collective space and time, additional skills and resources, and helps to coordinate overlapping work. By strategically focusing its joint attention, EJAM partners can make a more significant impact on public discourse and the policy landscape than they would individually. As the current environment is politically hostile, has little progressive infrastructure, and few power-wielding economic justice organizations, this is especially important. Collectivizing campaigns and developing leaders while remaining independent organizations allow EJAM partners to be agile, but also have a louder voice on issues relevant to their constituents.

In its brief existence, EJAM has graduated more than 200 people from its Michigan Economic Justice Fellowship, matching some with full-time jobs in social change organizations. It also achieved an incremental increase in the minimum wage in 2014. Most recently, EJAM catalyzed a collaborative statewide effort resulting in Michigan becoming the 11th state to win earned paid sick time.

EJAM needs to build momentum among low-wage earners, voters, small business owners, and like-minded organizations. EJAM’s focus is on educating and engaging these populations as well as those who feel disenfranchised because political systems are unwilling to prioritize their needs and interests, thus marginalizing their voices. In addition to the organization’s central staff, EJAM will turn to those who have participated in its programs and possess the leadership and analytical skills necessary to surface relevant economic justice concerns with policymakers. Organizations and individuals involved with EJAM will become drivers of other statewide economic justice campaigns and will bring increased and meaningful focus to economic justice in Michigan, shifting public consciousness to embrace and further pro-worker public policy.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To tell the story of organization's impact,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Feedback has informed the days and times we offer our Michigan Economic Justice Fellowship sessions. It's also helped us identify resource gaps among participants that have resulted in us finding ways to meet participants' needs better.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan

Board of directors
as of 2/11/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Alicia Farris

Restaurant Opportunity Center

Alicia Farris

Restaurant Opportunity Center

Randy Block

The Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network

Linda Campbell

Building Movement

Eboni Taylor

Mothering Justice

Jessica Hernandez

The Ezekiel Project

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/11/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/05/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.