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BLACK WORKER SUMMIT UNITES COMMUNITY ADVOCATES TO STRATEGIZE
HOW TO BUILD MORE PROMISING BLACK FUTURES

Southern California Black Worker Hub Organizes Thought-Provoking Summit to Find Real
Solutions for Improving Future Opportunities for Black Workers

Black Workers Summit Team Photo (Provided by Southern California Black Workers Hub for Regional Organizing)

LOS ANGELES – October 6, 2022

The Southern California Black Worker Hub for Regional Organizing joined the UCLA Center for the Advancement of Racial Equity (CARE) at Work, Black-led community-based organizations, aligned unions and policymakers at a recent Black Worker Summit to engage in solution-oriented discussions of strengthening collaborations that will help build better futures for Black workers. Held last month at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, the Black Worker Summit was launched to create a united space where community advocates and stakeholders collaborated for the purpose of finding solutions to creating greater justice and equity for Black working communities.

During the Summit, a panel of Black workers shared stories about their struggles with employment and the key resources and advocacy needed to help Black people succeed in the workforce. The panel of Black workers also discussed how their support from Black Worker Centers within the Hub network resulted in them finding living wage employment and developing advocacy skills to become ambassadors for the Black Worker Centers. Following their discourse, a panel of Black Worker Hub leaders participated in a discussion about the Hub’s mission and vision to build a Black worker-led movement that successfully advocates for high-quality jobs, economic mobility and policies that enable Black working communities to steadily flourish.

“The Black Worker Summit was an amazing example of developing spaces that served the needs of Black workers throughout Southern California,” said Jalil Austin, Program Manager for the Black Worker Hub. “It allowed the Hub to see what’s possible when we co-develop spaces with our coalition partners and come together to secure a commitment to building Black worker power across the grassroots and advocacy aisles.”

Also during the Summit, State Senator Sydney Kamlager joined UCLA CARE at Work Director Lola Smallwood-Cuevas on stage for a discussion about the importance of Black Worker Centers and community-based organizations providing effective plans for their region’s Black workers while holding state legislators accountable for ensuring that state policies truly benefit Black workers. The Summit then facilitated several breakout sessions to enable event participants to team up to strategize ways of creating new community partnerships, spearheading progressive platforms and advocating for policies that will enact real change for Black workers.

“The Hub is excited to utilize the energy from the Black Worker Summit to ensure the success of the Black Worker Centers and our allies,” said Austin. “We’re equally excited about developing a regional campaign that fulfills the needs of every Black worker in California.”

The Black Worker Summit was organized based on the fundamental principle that all Black workers deserve access to safe, good-paying jobs that are viable career paths and free from discrimination. Recommendations from the UCLA CARE at Work’s recent report, Essential Stories: Black Worker COVID-19 Economic Health Impact Survey, will help inform and guide the policy priorities and essential investments needed to ensure that Black workers thrive.

The Southern California Black Worker Hub for Regional Organizing advocates for the economic empowerment of Black workers throughout the region by supporting Black Worker Centers in Los Angeles, the Inland Empire and San Diego as they fight for economic inclusion and opportunity for the region’s Black workers. By serving as a resource for all three worker centers, the Hub is advancing Black economic opportunity throughout the region, creating a more equitable Southern California. For more information about the Hub, please visit the organization’s website here. To donate to the Hub, please visit here or email Hub Regional Organizer Alyce Monet at amonet@bwhub.org.

The Southern California Black Worker Hub for Regional Organizing staff are available to comment on a variety of contemporary issues related to Black worker rights and labor.

For media inquiries, please contact Simone Frank at sfrank@bwhub.org

  • Past Events

    U Good? U Good?

    A Black Wellness Community Discussion and Check In

  • Past Events

    Black Worker Summit 2022

    United to Build Black Futures

  • Past Events

    Build Black Better for All Orientation

  • Past Events

    Unpacking Your Essential Stories

The Southern California Black Worker Hub for Regional Organizing and Earthlodge Center for Transformation hosted a virtual Black Worker Rights and Wellness space for Black community members to be present and check in together while exploring the empowerment of trauma healing through grounding exercises, understanding the importance of mental health care and learning more about worker leave and benefits related to COVID-19.

The UCLA Center for the Advancement of Racial Equity (CARE) at Work, a project of the UCLA Labor Center, is convening Black workers, policy makers, agency staff and community and foundation partners to engage in solution-oriented conversations and activities for and by Black workers based on the challenges and recommendations in CARE at Work’s recent report Essential Stories: Black Worker COVID-19 Economic Health Survey.

Participants listened in to the Build Black Better for All Orientation to unpack how proactively updating Executive Order 11246 represents an opportunity for Black workers to gain equitable employment into high-road industries like construction and other public sector jobs.

Participants listened in as we unpacked the essential story of Black workers sounding the alarm on the economic restructuring being felt on the ground as a result of the pandemic that emerged in Southern California. With heightened unemployment, underemployment and unsafe conditions in a workforce plagued by a long history of systemic racism, it’s found that it will take a decade to address these critical issues if state officials don’t intervene sooner.