Nc Raise Up
Our Leadership
We are worker-led.

NC Raise Up gets direction from our Steering Committee—a dedicated group of low wage worker-leaders from the fast food, retail, care and service industries. Our Steering Committee meets weekly. We focus on winning real victories that will impact workers’ lives.

Jamila Allen

Jamila works at Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. She led her coworkers in a safety walkout and shut down their location for a day—eventually winning a better COVID sick leave policy for workers at dozens of Freddy's stores. She joined NC Raise Up in 2018, and her voice has been getting louder ever since.

“Why am I so focused on unions here in the South? Because poverty and racism are systemic problems that need systemic solutions. We are that solution. Low wage workers of all races coming together as a union—that's the solution.”

Rita Blalock

Rita has worked at McDonald's for 10 years and been a part of NC Raise Up for more than half of that time. She went on strike and spoke to the press repeatedly about the lack of COVID safety protections for workers in her store—winning protective gear for herself and her coworkers. Rita is dedicated to raising wages and building power for all workers in her home state of North Carolina.

“Low wage workers like us have been in crisis for a long time. Before this COVID crisis, we were already speaking up to demand $15/hour, healthcare and union rights. Now our fight is more important than ever.”

Keenan Harton

Keenan is an essential worker, a father and a grandfather. He started working in fast food at 15 years old and has held many jobs across different industries. These jobs have a few things in common—low wages, no benefits, and no chance to come together with other workers in a union. Keenan has been part of NC Raise Up since 2014 because he believes organizing with other low wage workers is the only way to win dignity, safety and fair pay.

“No one should have to put up with the unsafe conditions that I've gone through at work. No one should be getting their wages stolen by a major corporation. This is why we need to organize.”