“Domestic work is the work that makes all other work possible.”
These are the words are found on the front page of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the “nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women.”
Founded in 2007 by activist and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Ai-Jen Poo, NDWA works for the respect, recognition, and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers.
“Domestic workers care for the things we value the most: our families and our homes,” the organization states on its website.
“They care for our children, provide essential support for seniors and people with disabilities to live with dignity at home, and perform the home care work that makes all other work possible. …These workers deserve respect, dignity and basic labor protections.”
Many workers who provide a myriad of services on a daily basis face huge disadvantages, and are simply overlooked. In the wider population, they are some of the most marginalized among us. Jane M. Saks, the curator of Work in America, asks: “When did we stop valuing the worker? When did we stop valuing the person who does the job?”
We have lost touch with the deep significance of work by separating the dignity, creativity, and livelihood of work from the individual person. In today’s emphasis on consumer capitalism — results and products — we have forgotten the interconnectedness of all our work, and the way we are baptized into the human community and live out that baptism through participating in purposeful work with our hands and feet.
For many Christians, baptism signals a new beginning and a clean slate for life. It is also an entrance into the Christian faith, and participation in the work of the community.
Read the rest at Sojourners here.
Photo credit to Roman Kraft at Unsplash.