Chicago Workers’ Collaborative
The Chicago Workers’ Collaborative is a long-time grantee of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), having received $255,000 in funds since 2006. Its most recent grant was for $55,000 in the 2020-2021 grants cycle.
Origin and Purpose of CWC
The mission statement of the Chicago Workers Collaborative, according their official website, “Is to promote the creation of stable, living wage jobs with racial and gender equity through leadership development, advocacy, direct action and community accountability.” However, CWC is directly involved in the promotion of Planned Parenthood and LGBTQ ideologies, and continues to be a dues-paying member in a pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ coalition for which it lost its CCHD funding in 2013.
CWC on Abortion and LGBTQ
In October 2020, CWC participated in a Planned Parenthood Illinois Action video discussion on Facebook regarding the impact of Covid-19 on manufacturing workers and the importance of being an advocate for workers’ rights, tying their role with pro-abortion policies. Involved in the discussion were CWC representatives George Rapids, Jannell White, and Freddy Amador. At time 3:48, Freddy Amador mentions his own involvement in pushing LGBTQ initiatives, saying:
“What I did in Chicago Workers was to help them organize some of their events, either protests or workshops, know your rights. I do a lot of things, and also I created the LGBTQ workers community, which is a lot of LGBTQ workers doesn’t have no voice in the Lake County area, and now they do have a voice with CWC.”
Amador’s statement about CWC’s promotion of LGBTQ ideologies is reflected on the CWC’s website under the heading “Leadership and Advocacy,” where it says, “The Leadership and Advocacy department builds the power of historically marginalized people, such as LGBTQ, immigrants, and other workers of color.”
On June 2, 2022, CWC posted a “Happy Pride Month” message saying, “We honor the revolutionaries of the 1969 Stonewall Riots … who paved the way for so many towards acceptance and equality across all gender and sexual orientations. The courage and determination of many BIPOC LGBTQ+ people is commemorated in this month …”
On June 9, 2022, CWC posted pictures of its involvement in Pridefest in Waukegan.
Included among the pictures was a snapshot of CWC staff members with surgically augmented men in drag.
Another photo showed the CWC booth draped with LGBTW flags.
On June 30, CWC posted a series of slides representing a survey taken by the “National Center for Transgender Equality” complaining that men who wear dresses to work are being disciplined and/or fired from their jobs, such as in this slide:
In the third slide in the series, CWC complained that there are no “statutory protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination” in many locations.
CWC and the Women’s March on Springfield
In April 2017, the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative was identified as a “coalition partner” in the Illinois Women’s March on Springfield. Given the pro-abortion agenda of the march, there is no way that CWC could have participated without violating Catholic moral teaching, and subsequently, violating CCHD grant guidelines.
The agenda for the Women’s March on Springfield pushes abortion and LGBTQ ideologies:
On March 30, 2017, the Women’s March on Springfield made an open and direct call for the enshrinement of abortion into law.
CWC was De-Funded in 2013 for Violating CCHD Guidelines on Coalition Membership
In September of 2010, due to the exposes written by the Reform CCHD Now coalition, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development underwent what it called a “Review and Renewal.” This Review and Renewal involved the adoption of new guidelines, including one forbidding CCHD grantees from being members of coalitions that act or take positions counter to Catholic moral and social teaching.
In an FAQ on the USCCB website, the CCHD directly answers the question about whether grantees may be members of coalitions that oppose Catholic teachings. In answer, the CCHD firmly stated, “CCHD will not fund groups that are knowingly members of coalitions that have as part of their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.”
In 2013, eleven CCHD-funded organizations were told that they must either quit membership in a coalition that had taken formal positions on same-sex “marriage,” or lose their CCHD funding. The coalition is called the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), and one of those organizations being forced to choose between the CCHD and ICIRR was the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative. According to an article published on 19 October 2013 in the Chicago Tribune:
“The Chicago Workers’ Collaborative belonged to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. When given the choice to withdraw from the coalition or lose its $20,000 grant, Executive Director Leone Jose Bicchieri said the decision boiled down to timing.
“It was difficult to settle into our decision and live with it, but it wasn’t that hard a decision to make,” he said. “It was not the moment to splinter off from a statewide immigrant rights coalition. It was not the moment to not be united around immigration reform. That was the overriding consideration.”
In a December 2013 article on TruthOut, Bicchieri gave further details, showing CWC’s support for homosexuality in direct opposition to Catholic moral teaching (emphasis added):
Leone Jose Bicchieri, executive director of the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, which works to reform the temporary labor sector in Chicago, said his group hadn’t given gay marriage much thought before the ultimatum from the CCHD. Yet, when they got the call from CCHD, they made a “pretty quick decision.”
“Notwithstanding the exact issue, we didn’t think that was the kind of relationship we wanted to have with a funder: You do this or else,” he said. But more than that, “we simply felt it was more important to stay united supporting immigration reform in general.
“We need Blacks, whites, Latinos, gays, straights, tall, short, men, women – we need all workers to be united so all of our working families in Chicago can be better off.”
His group has received funding from CCHD for at least a decade and was expecting at least $30,000 a year for the next three years, which amounts to about 10 percent of the group’s budget.
In June of 2013, Cardinal George defended the decision to discontinue funding to members of ICIRR saying, “You can’t play off the pastoral concern of the church for the poor against the church’s teaching. That’s exactly what was done, that’s a cynical move, and I’m sorry that it was done.
In short, the CWC chose to remain a member of ICIRR and as a result, CWC lost its funding from the CCHD – until 2019 when it received its first grant in 10 years.
Continued partnership with ICIRR
The thing is, CWC is still a partner of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and ICIRR has not changed its position on same-sex “marriage” and the CCHD has not changed its guideline forbidding membership in groups like ICIRR. So, the question is “Why is Chicago Workers’ Collaborative suddenly receiving grant money from the CCHD again?”
Membership in ICIRR isn’t free, either. ICIRR’s “become a member” page shows a membership fee schedule.
According to CWC’s tax form 990 for FY 2019, CWC had $423,000 in expenses, making its annual membership fee in ICIRR $750.
On July 22, 2022, the Chicago Workers Collaboration tweeted about its reception of an award from the ICIRR, saying, “We are grateful for the award & partnership with ICIRR.”
ICIRR is Pro-Abortion
Following the Scotus decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 2022, the ICIRR decried the SCOTUS decision as “an attack on … the reproductive rights of people who can become pregnant.”
This was immediately followed by a tweet in support of “reproductive freedom,” calling for people to “follow the Chicago Abortion Fund for ways to take action.”
This support includes a funding page and explicitly linked to the Chicago Abortion Fund. The Instagram message from the Chicago Abortion Fund explicitly compels viewers to take a stand for Abortion Access in Illinois and beyond.
ICIRR on LGBTQ
In May of 2013, ICIRR issued the following formal statement in favor of same-sex “marriage.”
In February of 2014, ICIRR hosted a workshop covering “marriage equality” and “LGBT rights.”
In July of 2016, ICIRR tweeted about the “need” for welcoming the LGBTQ community.
In May of 2017, ICIRR announced that it is “rising up” for LGBTQ ideologies.
In June of 2020, ICIRR again boasted of its support for homosexual and transgender ideologies.
Membership in the Hispanic Federation
CWC is a member of the Hispanic Federation, which says on its membership page, “Together with our Member Agencies, these community-based organizations help us reach Latinos across the country to provide impactful and long-lasting support.”
The Hispanic Federation is not only pro-abortion, but its promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism borders on the pornographic.
On the Hispanic Federation’s website is a list of advocacy programs engaged in by the Federation itself. One of those program areas is “health,” wherein the Hispanic Federation states its goal to advocate for sexual and reproductive health “and rights.”:
“Hispanic Federation has taken a national leadership role in raising awareness of Latino health disparities and promoting strategies to improve Latino health as well as increasing Latinos’ access to affordable and quality healthcare.
Our portfolio is anchored by three central goals:
Scrolling down to the “Advocating for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” portion of this page reveals that Hispanic Federation is explicitly working to promote unrestricted access to abortion, contraception, and comprehensive sex education.
The Hispanic Federation’s advocacy for abortion goes back to at least 2016, when it published an article titled “Latina Reproductive Health on Trial.” In the article, Hispanic Federation complained about medical quality standards being imposed on abortion facilities, saying that such legislation would “make it impossible to secure an abortion in” Texas. The president of the Hispanic Federation, José Calderón, commented on the attempt by Texas to restrict access to abortion, saying:
“The fact is that anti-choice activists are getting bolder and savvier in their attempts to curtail how women control their bodies … Reproductive health is critical to our families and communities and we can’t allow legislatures to circumvent the law of the land.”
In May of 2022, the Hispanic Federation directly called on Congress to pass pro-abortion legislation. In the press release, the current president and CEO of the Hispanic Federation said:
“Hispanic Federation calls on Congress to pass legislation that will uphold our reproductive rights and represent the majority of American voters who believe that access to reproductive abortion healthcare should be legal. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will cause immeasurable damage to our civil rights. … Hispanic Federation will continue to fight for access to comprehensive reproductive care with dignity and justice for everyone in our communities, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides.”
On June 24, 2022, the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the Hispanic Federation “Vowed” to fight for women’s “right” to have an abortion. Stated in the first paragraph of the press release the “Hispanic Federation condemns this decision and once again calls on Congress to immediately pass federal protections for abortion rights.” The opening line of Hispanic Federation president Frankie Miranda’s statement declares:
“We are outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision today, which ended nearly 50 years of federal constitutional protections for abortion rights.”
In addition to fully committing itself to the promotion and decriminalization of abortion, fighting to create absolute, unrestricted access to the murder of preborn children, the Hispanic Federation is also deeply committed to the promotion of the vilest forms of sexual debauchery. The Hispanic Federation runs an annual LGBTQI+ festival called “Fuerza Fest,” which is full of the most disgusting displays of degeneracy imaginable. On the Fuerza Fest website, in the upper left corner is a logo showing that it is a project of the Hispanic Federation. And on the bottom of the page, it shows that the website is the property of the Hispanic Federation and indicates the Hispanic Federation as the contact point for the program.
The “About” page for Fuerza Fest says that the annual festival was created by the Hispanic Federation in 2016.
A few screen captures from the Fuerda Fest “memories” page (which contains video of various performances throughout the years) is enough to illustrate just how thoroughly disgusting this activity is. Some of the images contained in these videos were so bad, we couldn’t put them in this report.
CWC Membership in Jobs with Justice
The CWC is a member of the Chicago chapter of Jobs with Justice.
According to Chicago Jobs with Justice’s tax form 990, JwJ collects membership dues, which strongly suggests that TCWC is financially supporting JwJ.
Both the National Jobs with Justice and the Chicago chapter of Jobs with Justice are pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ organizations.
On June 26, 2022, two days after the day the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Chicago JwJ posted an article about unions ripping the “vile and discriminatory” abortion ruling.
On June 26, 2016, Chicago Jobs with Justice hosted an event, supporting involvement in the LGBTQ Pride Parade.
On June 24 of 2022, the National JwJ issued a public statement as an organization, slamming the decision as “reprehensible.”
In August of 2020, JwJ’s executive director, Erica Smiley issued a statement on the JwJ website regarding Joe Biden’s pick of Kamala Harris as his running mate, demanding that “the campaign must fight for access to reproductive health care, including abortion.”
Also in 2020, JWJ announced that it was joining a massive abortion effort called All Above All. In an article for Women’s Media Center, JWJ executive director Erica Smiley was interviewed. She stated in this article, “Demanding abortion coverage and overturning Hyde is step one for us,” Smiley says, also noting that abortion coverage advances racial justice too. “That’s essential for women of color to actually be supported and get the resources they need to thrive.”
The article goes on to state, “Jobs with Justice’s key demands of the Biden administration and Congress, as both try to move forward on a relief package, include lifting the Hyde Amendment, a policy that restricts Medicaid coverage of abortion care.”
All* Above All’s website confirms that JWJ is a coalition member:
JWJ’s recent social media is rabidly pro-abortion. Take, for instance, this January 22, 2021 JWJ Facebook post calling for “fighting for Abortion Justice for all of us.”
Also, this May 10, 2021 Facebook post from JWJ calls for the end of Hyde restrictions on federal abortion funding:
This example from JWJ’s Facebook feed on September 1, 2021 decries the Texas abortion restrictions and states that “reproductive justice IS economic justice.”
It is baffling that Chicago Workers’ Collaborative was permitted to receive grants in 2019 and 2020. It was directly and deliberately denied funding by the CCHD in 2013 because of its willing partnership with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights following ICIRR’s formal position in favor of same-sex “marriage.” CWC’s dues-paying membership in ICIRR has not changed, and ICIRR has gone beyond the support for same-sex “marriage” and now openly advocates for abortion as a “right.” This is a clear example of the CCHD completely and undeniably refusing to follow its own guidelines on coalition memberships.
In addition to this, CWC is a member of the Hispanic Federation, which is radically pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQ, to the point of producing an annual near-pornographic festival.
What’s more is that CWC has been collaborating with Planned Parenthood, participating in LGBTQ “pride” events, and endorsing the pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ “Women’s March on Springfield.”
There is no way that CWC should have ever received a CCHD grant, and the fact that it did proves that the CCHD openly lies about its vetting process and adherence to Catholic moral teaching.