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  • Sacred Conversations 2016

Irma Wallace: Increasing minority, female hiring is important

I became involved in Faith Coalition for the Common Good because they represent people like me — I’m a minority — a woman, person of color, with no job trying to survive in an economy that is in trouble.

I have over 25 years of diverse work experience with a bachelor’s degree in administration from Robert Morris College, but I’ve found myself stuck with a huge student loan I cannot afford to pay back because I can’t get a good-paying job.

All of the politicians and other decision-makers are promising jobs for people like me — minorities and women. But in reality, where are these jobs? I feel like I have been invited to a big open buffet with over 300 guests, and I am at the end of the line. As I’m standing in line, I’m thinking, “Will there be any food left when I finally get to the buffet table, or will I be forced to scrape the bottom of the pans?” The food is scarce, and by the time I (we) get there to be served, everything is gone.

About two years ago, because I’m a member of the Faith Coalition, I was selected to be on the National Gamaliel Transportation Equity Network’s leadership team with 25 other leaders from across the U.S. We were the “Lightning Team,” and we made our way to Washington, D.C., to speak to legislators about the Surface Transportation Authorization Bill, which we had been working on in our home communities.

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