Wishing You Happy Holidays and a Wonderful Start to 2023

On behalf of my colleagues at ROC United, I wanted to take a moment to wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season.

There are no words to describe how grateful we are for your partnership, friendship and commitment to our work with and for restaurant workers throughout this year. 

During these past three months, our mission to serve restaurant workers and build power in the restaurant industry was more pronounced than ever before. In a national press conference, Representative Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) introduced this week the Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights Resolution in the House of Representatives. 

The resolution, known as H. Res. 1528, calls for the federal government to adopt policies that lead to thriving wages and a thriving life, healing and rest, a safe and dignified work environment, universal healthcare and bodily autonomy and participation in governance for millions of restaurant workers. 

My article, “The Colors Co-op Experiment: Learning the Right Lessons from Our Failure,” was also published in The Nonprofit Quarterly this week. It was an honest and revealing account of how ROC United has risen above some of the most difficult hurdles that we face and how we have become successful in enforcement and policy fights, winning millions for workers and their families. 

Last September, we kicked off our year-long celebration of ROC United’s 20th year anniversary.  More than a hundred funders, donors, partners and restaurant workers gathered together to honor restaurant workers and celebrate our anniversary with an evening gala at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice. 

In addition, the long fight for increasing Michigan’s minimum wage, along with the opportunity to earn paid sick time, did take a victorious turn in recent months. On February 19, 2023, the minimum wage in Michigan would increase to $13.03 an hour, the subminimum tipped wage of $3.75 an hour would be eliminated and instead those workers would receive $11.73 an hour plus tips. Over 600,000 Michiganders will see a raise in their hourly wages.

As we look ahead to 2023, we hope the year will be filled with health, happiness and continued success. We know that this year has been challenging for everyone, but we’re confident the coming year will bring brighter days.


Dr. Sekou Siby