By Susan Landrum, 9to5 Atlanta member and intern
I’ve been told I’m a “joiner.” You know, one of those people that loves participating in things like book clubs, the first to respond to any invitation, and someone who adores being a part of a community. It’s true, I won’t even try to deny it!
A year ago, I became a member of 9to5, and was introduced to its amazing work in Atlanta. A month after becoming a member, I went to my first rally to support Georgia education workers in their fight to secure unemployment benefits during the summer months. This is not something I would normally do on a Saturday afternoon but I received a call personally inviting me to attend by Charmaine, the chapter’s state director.
It was one of those perfect Atlanta days – the sun was shining, the temperature was glorious and Spring was in the air. I didn’t know anyone there and despite my inclination to join, I am also a little shy so you can imagine the butterflies in my stomach as I walked up to meet the crowd. In what I soon learned would be typical 9to5 fashion, 9to5 staff and members greeted me warmly after just meeting me the week before for all of five minutes. I immediately felt a part of something and as we walked down MLK Drive, chanting and feeling the warm sunshine, it struck me that joining 9to5 was the right decision for me. By becoming a member, I was now a part of a larger movement demanding justice right here at home.
In the past year, I have advocated for the Ban the Box campaign, called on my representatives to support the Family Care Act, and rallied with fast food workers to raise their wage to $15 per hour. I marched in the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade and with One Billion Rising in February. My membership with 9to5 has activated and inspired me! It has shown me that people coming together over issues they care deeply about can change our world. And because of that, I will always be a “joiner.”