Shelly Ruzicka ’06 is the communications and development director at Arise Chicago, a nationally renowned interfaith workers’ rights organization.
Arise has trained and organized low-wage, primarily immigrant workers across Chicagoland, enabling them to recover more than $6.9 million in stolen wages and compensation; and has led efforts to pass groundbreaking legislation at the city, county and state levels.
On September 28, Ruzicka will present From Exploitation to Empowerment: A Decade of Organizing in Chicago as this year’s César Chávez Intercultural Lecture at Elmhurst College.
Arise Chicago’s most recent achievements include winning a Chicago Paid Sick Days ordinance and the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Ruzicka’s communications efforts have led to Chicago workers’ voices reaching local and national media outlets, including The New York Times, NPR, ABC-TV, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Telemundo and Univision. Her photographs have been published in The Nation, La Raza, Dissent magazine, In These Times and Gapers Block.
Ruzicka also serves as co-chair on the board of directors of Chicago Fair Trade, the largest local fair trade organization in the United States. An Elmhurst College alumna with majors in political science and intercultural studies, she received the College’s Founders Award for Service to Community in 2006.
Shelly Ruzicka’s talk will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center. Admission is $10 for the general public and free for Elmhurst College students, faculty, staff and alumni. Tickets are available online. For more information, call (630) 617-5186.