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AFL-CIO Holds Racial & Economic Justice Town Hall

FullSizeRender (22)Greater St. Mark Family Church-The Racial and Economic Justice Public Town Hall Meeting was held to address the barriers to building a strong labor movement so that a strong racial justice movement can endure. Opening remarks by Kristian Blackmon (Jobs with Justice), Hazel Erby (St. Louis County Council), Adolphus Pruitt (NAACP) and Montague Simmons (OBS) laid bare how racism within the unions affects its own cohesion as well as the solidarity between the labor movement and the broader community. Quite graphic examples were heard by the AFL-CIO Labor Commissioners on Racial and Economic Justice. Then there were other invited testifiers like myself who voiced the challenges we observed in the movement. The bottom line is that our common interests is supposed to that of improving the lives of working people. And that means we got a lot of work to do.

I later hung out with members of the AFL-CIO Advisory Group and some of the Commissioners. Always glad to see Jocelyn Woodwards, Carmen Berkley, Dorian Warren, Steve Pitts. There was James Gibb (a third generation mineworkers with lots of history about blacks in the mines), AFGE’s J. David Cox, Tiffany Loftin, Tefere Gebre and others. Anxious to hear what today’s private session before will produce.

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