CLG Workers Forum 

The Dignity of Labor and Connecting with Catholic Social Teaching

Tuesday, June 11, 2024
11:45 am – 2:15 pm CT

Carpenters Council Hall
12 East Erie, Chicago

The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago has undertaken an initiative to highlight the long-standing Catholic teaching supporting the rights of workers. A committee of CLG members has put together this forum to educate and enlighten attorneys–and the larger community–about the meaning of Catholic social justice teaching and its’ continuing relevance for workplace justice and labor advocacy.

The Forum will take place on June 11, 2024 from 11:45 until 2:15 pm. It will be held at the Carpenters Council Hall located at 12 East Erie Street in Chicago. Lunch will be provided.

Two-hours of Illinois general CLE credit will be provided for this program. Registration is required to attend, please provide ARDC during registration to attain CLE credit.

We hope you can join us!


The first session of this Forum will be about the history which can be traced to the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1881; and the continuing relevance and involvement of Catholic activism in the labor movement.

Featured will be two prominent speakers: Dan Graff, labor historian and Director of the Higgins Labor Program at the Center for Social Concerns, University of Notre Dame and Adrienne Alexander, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, AFSCME Council 31 and board member of the Catholic Labor Network.

This session will feature two leaders of UNITE HERE Local 1: Sarah Lyons, Communications Director, and Roushaunda Williams, Executive Board of Illinois AFL-CIO. Our speakers will describe the worker-led “Hands Off Pants On” campaign. Launched in 2016, the campaign was a response to widespread reporting of sexual harassment and assault from women working in Chicagoland hotels and casinos.

Under the leadership of the Chicago Federation of Labor, a landmark ordinance was passed in Chicago in 2017  to ensure that all Chicago hotel workers are equipped with panic buttons to protect them on the job. Similar legislation has since been passed in Illinois and other states and has become a model nationally and in international labor circles.

The speakers will also report on the May 2024 Conference in Rome entitled “The Future of Work, Labour After  Laudato Si” hosted by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

A panel of two attorneys with extensive experience in the labor and employment field will discuss how their faith and Catholic teaching impacts their representation of their respective clients. Our speakers will be James J. Convery, Of Counsel, Laner Muchin for the management side; and Thomas Geoghegan, partner, Despres Schwartz and Geoghegan Ltd. for the labor side.


Lunch is included with registration.

Member Registration – $40
Non-Member Registration – $50
Law Student Registration – $25