May 7, 2015

New Reports: And Still I Rise, #BlackWorkersMatter

Two new cutting edge and groundbreaking reports looking at the nexus of work, race, gender, and class were recently released at the conference State of Black Workers in America at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. The first report, And Still I Rise: Black Women Labor Leaders’ Voices, Power, and Promise is a photo-journalistic report written by Kimberly Freeman Brown designed to engage black women labor leaders and activists in exploring ways to leverage their organizing expertise for the preservation of the labor movement and the economic advancement of the black community. The heart of And Still I Rise is a collection of over 25 extensive interviews/oral histories with black women labor leaders, organizers, and rank-and-file union members and workers at different stages of their careers.  

A project with personal narratives as its centerpiece is intended to have a broad mainstream appeal that an academic paper cannot and give visibility to the black women as organizing experts and social change strategists. Two exciting articles on And Still I Rise have already come out via The Root and The Nation

The second report, #BlackWorkersMatter, is a cutting edge report on the state of black worker organizing around the country. This report will highlight efforts to organize black workers and address the particular barriers to employment and economic security faced by people of African descent in the U.S.  This report will include sections that analyze the historical, economic and social factors that contribute to the black jobs crisis, and also highlight grassroots organizations that too often receive very little funding but are having a positive impact for black workers.  

Check out this interview with two of the authors, Mark Bayard and Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, on MSNBC’s Nerding Out with Dorian Warren.

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