Arise Chicago Workers Center (often simply Arise Chicago) began as a faith-based workers advocacy group in the 1990s. In recent years, Arise Chicago has partnered more closely with labor unions in attempts to organize workers in the service industries, especially hand car washes.
The group was a player in organizing Chicago’s Occupy protests in 2011. Over 100 protesters were arrested for various public nuisance and public order offenses.
Arise Chicago began a campaign in 2012 against the car wash industry backed by $56,000 in support from the United Steelworkers (USW) national headquarters. In addition to commissioning and promoting surveys of car washers, Arise Chicago founded a Car Wash Worker Organizing Committee.
Arise Chicago has also supported union organizing campaigns. According to a Chicago Tribune report, Arise Chicago assisted Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, in organizing workers at an embroidery shop.