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Q&A with Chris Sanders on unions, social justice and policing

Chris Sanders knows theology and law, and he’s an advocate both for labor unions and social justice. That blend of life experience and life passion makes for an interesting conversation these days — with the dueling demands of holding police officers accountable for mistreatment of Black citizens when officers often are shielded by strong provisions of their union contracts.


And there’s the fact that Chris is a longtime resident of Louisville, Ky., where daily protests continue after the police shooting of Breonna Taylor March 13.


Chris is a leader at Ridgewood Baptist Church in Louisville, where the congregational motto is “to be a church that loves all people, without barriers.” He holds a master of divinity degree and a law degree and has been active for years at the intersection of social justice and Christian mission and legal representation. He also is a former secretary-treasurer of the Kentucky AFL-CIO and former legal counsel to UFCW Local 227, and twice served as interim coordinator of CBF Kentucky, the state affiliate of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.


In private practice, Chris represents Jobs with Justice, a national workers’ rights organization in 26 states. He coordinates Empower West Louisville, a project of historically Black Simmons College of Kentucky, a network of white and Black pastors dedicated to the economic development of segregated Louisville’s West End.

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