**For funders and philanthropic advisors only.**
"The two most dynamic and cohesive liberal forces in the country are the labor movement and the Negro freedom movement. Together we can be architects of democracy."
– Martin Luther King, Jr., at the AFL-CIO National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida, December 11, 1961
The Discount Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Neighborhood Funders Group are partnering to organize a day-long meeting on black worker organizing. The meeting will be held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on Thursday, October 10. In the morning there will be a convening of organizations engaged in black worker organizing, including Discount Foundation and Ford Foundation grantees and others. Beginning with lunch at 1 pm and through the afternoon, we are inviting funders to participate in a grantee-funder discussion about what is needed to bring greater attention and resources to the black jobs crisis and to black worker organizing as a core strategy.
The recent celebration of 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom brought new public attention to the unfinished business of the civil rights movement – in particular the dismal lack of progress on closing the economic gap between blacks and whites. Long before the recent recession, African American workers experienced extraordinarily high levels of unemployment, along with serious underemployment and over-representation in low wage jobs without benefits. Black unemployment was 12.6% in July 2013, almost twice that of whites, at 6.6%. New models of black worker organizing, including black worker centers, offer promising strategies to address this important challenge. An article by Tammy Kim posted yesterday in Al Jazeera America discusses the opportunity to rethink African-American labor amid the recent Walmart and fast-food strikes.
Our hosts for this event at Georgetown University are the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor and the Black Labor Scholars Network. They will be hosting a State of the Black Worker in America conference directly after our meeting that you are all invited to attend as well on October 10-11, 2013. This conference will delve into the history of black workers and their organizing efforts; the current state and vision of black leadership within unions; innovative and cutting edge black led organizing going on across the country; and, a gender-based analysis of black organizing. Please find more information, including RSVP information here: http://lwp.georgetown.edu/event/conference-on-the-state-of-the-black-worker-in-america/
NOTE: Dinner on October 10 is optional and will cost $45. CLICK HERE to purchase dinner tickets. All payments are processed via PayPal.