As you’ll remember from our contract ratification vote earlier this month, our members voted for a proposal to ask everyone represented by our unions to make a voluntary contribution to the Rutgers “Beloved Community Fund” that was established during negotiations, with initial funding from the state government. Though President Holloway’s administration backed out of a previous commitment to contribute to the fund, we want to support an initiative to benefit the communities that give so much to Rutgers throughout the state.
What Is the Beloved Community Fund?
This is a fund that our unions fought for alongside students and the broader communities in New Brunswick, Camden, and Newark to hold Rutgers accountable to the communities it occupies. Money donated to this fund will be dedicated to getting BIPOC migrant students and workers the support they need to pay their rent and put food on the table, with specific emphasis on communities who were left out of stimulus payments during the pandemic.
There’s a reason this fund is named the “Beloved Community Fund.” We are using the language President Holloway has used to tell the university leadership that we intend to hold them responsible for gentrification in our communities.
What Are Our Plans for the Fund?
We are still in the process of setting up a mechanism to accept contributions to the fund, but our goal is to have one established by early June, when you will be receiving your retroactive salary increase in your Rutgers paycheck. We will ask you to contribute (on a sliding scale, more from those who are paid more) the first $50 to $100 from your retro paycheck.
We are working with our community allies to establish a 501(c)(3) organization to administer this money. Donated funds will be used to build relationships with directly affected residents and give them the tools they need to build a campaign for housing justice in our communities. Contributing to this fund is not about short-term support but about system change—we want to hold Rutgers accountable as one of the largest employers and landlords in our communities.
To learn about this long-term vision, New Labor (a worker center dedicated to migrant worker rights) will be hosting an info session on plans for the Beloved Community Fund on Wednesday, May 31, at 5 p.m. Click here to register for this info session. Join us to get your questions answered and find out how else you can take part in the work.
This is everyone’s fight. By contributing to this fund, you will be investing in a long-term campaign for justice, one that will pressure Rutgers to reckon with the communities it exploits, including our members among those communities. We can bring our communities together to build on the historic wins of our strike.
Rutgers AAUP-AFT, Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, and AAUP-BHSNJ