AFGE Hosted Its First Black Labor Week

During the week of Sept. 14 – 18, the Women’s and Fair Practices Departments hosted its very first Black Labor Week, a week dedicated to providing education and empowerment. These events were open to everyone interested in increasing their knowledge and awareness. 

Over the course of the week, the departments hosted five evening events that included: 

  • Black History: Race and Racism in American 
  • History of the Labor Movement in connection with the Civil Rights Movement  
  • Protest to Policy 
  • 2020 Census: Making Black Voices Count  
  • and Power of the Black Vote. 

We had hundreds of folks join us online via Hopin and Facebook Live. Here’s a recap of the events: 

Race and Racism in America 

On the first day of Black Labor Week, attendees traveled through time in a Black history musical journey from 1950s to present day, covered Black history glossary terms, and had a straight conversation with Bill Fletcher Jr. on Black History. During this discussion, we learned about the need for activism, and activism now to continue to progress history to a place where racism is eliminated.  

History of the Labor Movement in Connection with the Civil Rights Movement 

On the second day, our panelist covered the history of labor, black labor and the intersection with the Civil Rights Movement. The training spanned from the emergence of the first large scale national union, the founding of AFGE, the civil rights era, and how the fight for labor rights and civil rights continue. We were fortunate to have Rev. James Lawson, Jr., an esteemed Civil Rights Advocate who has been fighting the fight since the 1950s. Rev. Lawson bestowed his knowledge, spirit of activism, and expertise on all who listened in.  

Protest to Policy 

On Sept.16, our attendees learned how to harness the energy of movements and transform it into true policy change. During this session, AFGE leaders took attendees through history and the impact of protest over time where viewers saw how protest changed our face of the nation in the past. The night was wrapped up with Rev. Dr. Dominque Robinson who brought insight on how to harness our inner fire and fight to make systematic change.  

The 2020 Census: Making Black Voices Count 

As we near the deadlines set for the completion of the 2020 Census, we hosted a much needed event that focused on educating our participants regarding what the Census is, why the Census is important, how the Census data is used for decision-making that affects us all, especially communities of color, and meeting the Census deadline. We were joined by AFGE Council 241 Census leadership and our two special guest speakers, Jeanine Abrams from Fair Count and Stacey Carless from NC Counts Coalition who spoke to the on-the-ground work to make sure everyone is counted fairly.  

The Power of the Black Vote 

On the 18th, to close our Black Labor Week and celebrate National Black Voter Registration Day, we had an inspirational panel that discussed the "Power of the Black Vote". This discussion was centered around the need for Black voters in this election and the issues that are currently impacting Black voters. Viewers learned about the power of the vote, how to vote, and how to keep elected officials accountable once in office.  

The Women’s and Fair Practices Departments was proud to host this amazing and enriching program that elevated and engaged our members. We look forward to continuing to educate our members on the power and history of our communities of color. AFGE will continue to stand in solidarity with our communities of color.  


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