Black-led Labor Organizers Discuss Challenges and Tactics of Black Worker Organizing in the Trump Era at State of Black Workers in America Conference

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(Photo: Victoria Borneman / Institute for Policy Studies)

(Washington, DC) – Six months into the Trump administration Black labor organizers are facing new and old challenges. The Institute for Policy Studies held its 3rd State of Black Workers in America Conference at historic Howard University led by our Black Worker Initiative project to discuss big-picture national trends impacting black workers, as well as the innovative Black-led labor organizing happening in the U.S. Panelists engaged with the audience to talk about topics from the women of color-led fight for a domestic worker bill of rights, to alternative power for Black workers, to partnerships for workforce training with German corporations in the Deep South.

Three dynamic panels included:

We Dream In Black: Telling the Story of Black Women Low-Wage Domestic Organizing in the South, moderated by Alicia Garza of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. This all women of color led panel introduced the partnership between We Dream in Black and the Black Worker Initiative. It focused on telling the compelling stories of Black female domestic workers in North Carolina and Georgia who are fighting for better wages, access to benefits, and a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights at the state level. This project hopes to move both hearts and policy in the coming years.

“While Black women are working hard, democracy isn’t working for us. Black families depend on Black women, yet Black women face the highest poverty rates in the nation, second only to indigenous women,” Alicia Garza of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Black Lives Matter said. “We do our part to make this country better—we vote at higher rates than any other racial or ethnic group. It’s time for an agenda that puts Black women at the center. When Black women succeed, all women succeed.”

What the Hell do We Have to Lose? Black Workers Reflect on the First Six Months of the Trump Administration, moderated by MSNBC’s Joy Ann-Reid. This panel featured Carmen Berkley of Planned Parenthood (formerly the Civil Rights Director for the AFL-CIO), Tanya Wallace-Gobern of the National Black Worker Center Project and the Black Worker Initiative’s own Marc Bayard.  The panel discussed big-picture national trends impacting black workers, especially in the Deep South. These former and current labor leaders and activists discussed the effects of this administration on civil rights, the shift in focus back to white male workers, alternative power for Black workers, and the power of narrative change.

“This Trump moment has shown the world that the needs of U.S. workers have not been met and many of them are suffering. But if we continue to leave Black workers out of the conversation, we will never see a revitalization of a labor movement that serves the people,” Marc Bayard, director of the Black Worker Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies said.

Building Bridges Between German Corporations, the Civil Rights Movement, and Labor. The Black Worker Initiative is seeking to build stronger and more positive relationships between German firms working in the U.S. and civil rights, academic, labor and racial justice organizations.  Our focus states are Mississippi and Alabama.  This panel showed the success of our early efforts. This panel including powerful opening remarks from DNC Chair Tom Perez. Perez set up an important frame as to the value of the German apprenticeship model for education, jobs and dignity at work.  Perez stated, “In Germany, everyone has the same stature.  We devalue apprenticeship here. [We] need to change that perception.” representatives from the Mississippi NAACP, Foundation for the Mid South and Adah International discussed vigorously the role of German corporations in the Deep South and their relationship to the Black communities that live and work there. Conversations about future partnerships and access to workforce skills and training in German companies for Black high school and college students was a key to the discussion.

This day-long event attended by one hundred and fifty labor, civil rights, women’s and community activists as well as a number of foundations and academics.

See the full program here.

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IPS to Host 3rd State of Black Workers in America Conference

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Domenica Ghanem, domenica@ips-dc.org, 202 787 5205

(Washington, DC) – The Institute for Policy Studies will host The State of Black Workers in America Conference led by our Black Worker Initiative project on June 7 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM at the Howard University School of Social Work. This day-long conference will feature three panels discussing the best and most innovative organizing led by Black workers in the U.S. because the role of Black workers is key to the revitalization of the labor movement. Opening statements will be made by Marc Bayard, Director of IPS’ Black Worker Initiative, and Clarence Lusane, Professor of International Relations at Howard University.

Panelists will be available for interviews at the conference.

Panels will include:

We Dream In Black: Telling the Story of Black Women Low-Wage Domestic Organizing in the South, moderated by Alicia Garza of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. This all women of color panel will introduce a project led by Black domestic workers in North Carolina and Georgia who are fighting for better wages, access to benefits, and a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights at the state level.

What the Hell do We Have to Lose? Black Workers Reflect on the First Six Months of the Trump Administration, moderated by MSNBC’s Joy Ann-Reid. This panel will discuss big-picture national trends impacting black workers, especially in the Deep South. Former and current labor leaders and activists will discuss the effects of this administration on civil rights, the shift in focus back to white male workers, alternative power for Black workers, and the power of narrative change. *Please note, this panel may not be video recorded or broadcast.*

Building Bridges Between German Corporations, the Civil Rights Movement, and Labor, moderated by Marc Bayard of the Black Worker Initiative. This panel, including DNC Chair Tom Perez, representatives from Adah International, Foundation for the Mid South, and the NAACP, will discuss German corporations in the Deep South and their relationship to the Black communities that live and work there. They will have a conversation about future partnerships and access to workforce skills and training in German companies for Black high school and college students.

WHO:     Marc Bayard, Black Worker Initiative, Institute for Policy Studies
Clarence Lusane, Howard University
Alicia Garza, National Domestic Workers Alliance and Black Lives Matter
Kimberly Freeman Brown, Race and Gender Equity and Inclusion Consultant
Tamika Middleton, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Premilla Nadasen, Barnard College
Joan Samuel Lewis, We Dream in Black
Joy Ann-Reid, MSNBC
Carmen Berkley, Planned Parenthood
Tanya Wallace-Gobern, National Black Worker Center Project
Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee and former U.S. Secretary of Labor
Derrick Johnson, NAACP Mississippi
Nadja Dalberg, Adah International Inc.
Ivye L. Allen, Foundation for the Mid South

WHAT:    State of Black Workers in America Conference to feature panels discussing most innovative organizing led by Black workers in the U.S. in the Trump era.

WHERE: Howard University School of Social Work
601 Howard Place NW
Washington, DC 20059

WHEN:   June 7, 2017
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

###

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Key Takeaway From Facebook’s F8 Conference: Make Video Shareable – AdAge.com (blog)


AdAge.com (blog)
Key Takeaway From Facebook's F8 Conference: Make Video Shareable
AdAge.com (blog)
For all the buzz around new product and technology announcements at the F8 Facebook Developer Conference, one statement made in the session titled "The Future of Video on Facebook" stood out most: Nearly half (48%) of all video watch time on …

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Success of Moroccan conference sharing experiences on how to improve working conditions

An unprecedented event took place on 9 March in Agadir, Morocco. For the first time ever, a conference about the working conditions in global food chains was organised in this region. Against the backdrop of the agricultural fields of Souss Massa, over 100 companies, local workers, trade unions and representatives from local governments attended the conference and exchanged their expertise on how to successfully improve working conditions of global food workers.

Improving working conditions in global food chains: Examples of good practices, innovation and collaboration and how to face the challenges ahead

Ines Del Real Tovar of Fairfood speaking at the conference

Ines Del Real Tovar of Fairfood speaking at the conference

The conference – funded by the Ford Foundation – was organised by Fairfood in collaboration with the local labour union the Fédération Nationale du Secteur Agricole (FNSA). Fairfood and the FNSA have worked together since 2013 on improving the working conditions and the wages of tomato workers in the Souss Massa region (one of the main areas of agricultural production in the country and employing 74,000 people). During their work in Morocco, the FNSA and Fairfood have discovered that there is often a lack in knowledge sharing between all the different organisations working on these type of issues and that all could benefit from each other’s knowledge. With this conference they aimed to bring together experts and professionals that wouldn’t normally talk to one another and so they could share experiences and ideas for how to overcome the challenges facing workers.

Over 100 companies, workers, unions and local governments were present

The conference was attended by over 100 participants from a wide range of backgrounds. Representatives from the Ministries of Labour and Agriculture in Morocco were present, as well as the vice-president of the region, the Dutch Embassy, local agricultural producers, trade unions, academics, NGOs and agricultural workers.

It’s an unprecedented event. The presentations are interesting, we can hear the voice of different parties and actors – Moroccan producing company

Zahidi Ahmed, Vice-President of the Souss Massa region, gives welcoming words to the conference

Zahidi Ahmed, Vice-President of the Souss Massa region, gives welcoming words to the conference

A wide range of experts, organisations and companies shared examples of initiatives which have contributed to improved working conditions, such as increased income, education for workers’ children, more workers registered for social security and increased dialogue between unions and companies. After the presentations, the participants met in separate groups to discuss the challenges facing workers in more depth. This gave participants from different backgrounds the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences so they could really learn from each other (for the full program, click here).

“The presentations and the workshops tackled most of the thorny issues in the agricultural sector … Hopefully this will result in recommendations and solutions for the welfare of workers and the development of the sector” – Solidarity Center

Saida Ben Taher, Confédération Démocratique du Travail (Moroccan trade union), speaking about the landmark collective bargaining agreement they negotiated last year

Saida Ben Taher, Confédération Démocratique du Travail (Moroccan trade union), speaking about the landmark collective bargaining agreement they negotiated last year

Some examples of the presentations

Moroccan company Pack Souss – which packages fresh produce – achieved a cultural change within their organisation in which all levels are involved and feel connected: both workers and management are now having an active role in improving the working environment and in bringing about behavioural changes. They achieved this through training, discussions between workers and management on problems and how to solve them, and regular monitoring of project indicators. In addition, the company has created a program to provide education for the children of its workers.

Moroccan trade union, the CDT (Confédération Démocratique du Travail), shared their experiences of setting up a collective bargaining agreement between five agricultural companies in Meknes in January 2015. This was a landmark agreement and was the culmination of a multi-year process. It had a particular focus on gender equality, providing training for women and getting women to do jobs which had previously been reserved just for men. CDT emphasised how collaboration between all stakeholders is essential to bring about this type of agreement and how this will not happen in an environment suffering from conflicts and high tension: companies and unions have to be able to work together.

“It’s just amazing to see the different actors involved in the discussions. There were representatives from the government, unions, workers, social security, and others. Gender equality was also respected. I’m happy to see the presence and participation of all these women” – Conseil National des Droits de l’Homme, Agadir

Group discussion about the challenges facing agricultural workers in Morocco and what can be done to improve their situation

Group discussion about the challenges facing agricultural workers in Morocco and what can be done to improve their situation

The Dutch Embassy in Morocco is working to create a Center of Excellence in Agadir. This was developed by the Dutch and Moroccan governments, together with the private sector, universities and public institutions in Morocco. The Dutch have a good record on efficient and sustainable food production and the Center of Excellence will provide a setting in which they can share this expertise through demonstrations, research and training. This will help to improve productivity and sustainability in the region.

 

Ghada Abdel Tawab, Economic and Social Rights Program Officer at the Ford Foundation in the MENA region, gives the closing words

Ghada Abdel Tawab, Economic and Social Rights Program Officer at the Ford Foundation in the MENA region, gives the closing words

Closing words were provided by Ghada Abdel Tawab, Economic and Social Rights Program Officer at the Ford Foundation in the MENA region (the Ford Foundation aims to create a just, fair, and peaceful world with opportunity for all). Abdel Tawab talked about the necessity of improving working conditions and the need for shared dialogue. She described the potential of Morocco to be a leader and a model for other countries in the MENA region in terms of sharing knowledge and working together to find solutions to protect those living in informality.

Dialogue is essential

The conference affirmed that it is very important that the dialogue between the stakeholders will continue in the future. The challenges facing workers are huge and no single actor has the power to overcome them alone. By sharing knowledge and resources, at events such as this one, different stakeholders can work together to bring about positive change for Moroccan agricultural workers.

This conference was organised with the help of the Ford Foundation, MENA region.

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FNSA & Fairfood organise conference on improving working conditions

The Fédération Nationale du Secteur Agricole (FNSA) and Fairfood International are organising a conference in Agadir, Morocco on 24 February 2016. The topic is improving working conditions in global food chains, with a special focus on the Moroccan agricultural sector:

“Improving working conditions in global food chains: examples of good practices, innovation and collaboration and how to face the challenges ahead”

In this conference, the Moroccan food industry and experts in a wide variety of fields will be brought together to discuss examples of projects that involve inclusion and collaboration and where participants have found innovative ways of solving problems. We will also take a closer look at Fairfood and the FNSA’s tomato project in Morocco.

See the detailed programme below.

Experts from all over the world are present

Companies, NGOs, trade unions, government officials, academics and workers from all over the world will join the conference. These include the President of the Souss Massa region, representatives from the regional authorities, as well as from the Moroccan Ministries of Labour and Agriculture, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers from Florida (USA) and the Libera Terra association from Italy. They will share their experiences and discuss possibilities for improving conditions in the agri-business sector, both in Morocco and abroad.

Programme*

Date: February 24th 2016
Venue: Palais des Roses, Agadir, Morocco

8:30 – 9:00 Registration

9:00 – 9:30 Opening session

  • Welcome speech from the host, Fédération Nationale du Secteur Agricole (FNSA)
  • Welcoming words from
    • Regional Governor, Mme Le Wali
    • President of the Souss Massa region, Mr Brahim Hafidi
    • A representative of the Ministry of Labour
    • A representative of the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Opening words from the Managing Director (a.i) of Fairfood International, Ms Maxine Tillij

9:30 – 11:00 First panel of speakers sharing experiences and insights

  1. Developing capacities of agricultural workers to become more influential, especially women – Mr Lahoucine Boulberj, FNSA, Morocco and Mr Mohamed Dahmani, Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (FNV), Netherlands
  2. A case of partnership between a local labour union and an international NGO to improve worker’s conditions in the tomato food chain – Ines del Real, Fairood International, Netherlands
  3. The role of social-eco entrepreneurs in delivering social value through the inclusion of rural youth in the production process – Ms Valeria Perzia, Libera Terra Mediterraneo, Italy
  4. The valorisation of human resources for the company’s development and improvement of working conditions – Mr Khalid Bounajma, Pack Souss, Morocco
  5. Policy Presentation (Title to be confirmed) – Advisor from the Dutch Embassy, Morocco

10:30 – 11:00 Discussion

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 13:00 Second panel of speakers sharing experiences and insights

  1. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers: Worker-driven Social Responsibility – Ms Agatha Schmaedick, Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), Florida USA
  2. Collective bargaining agreements in praxis, a case from the agricultural sector – Mr. Bouchta Boukhalfa, Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT), Morocco
  3. Collective bargaining agreements and social dialogue in the region: progress and challenges – Mr Lahoucine Bouberj, FNSA, Morocco
  4. Regional institutional framework to support social dialogue in the agricultural sector – Professor Benbada Omar, Morocco

12:30 – 13:00 Discussion

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch

14:30 – 16:00 Group discussions on integrating knowledge and looking to the future

16:00 – 16:30 Plenary

16:30 – 17:00 Closing speech

  • Ms Ghada Tawab, Program Officer Ford Foundation MENA region

———————————————————————————————————————————————————
If you have any questions you can contact the conference coordinators Ines del Real – Fairfood International (Ines.delReal@fairfood.org) or Lahoucine Boulberj – FNSA (boulberjl@yahoo.fr).

*The programme will be updated as more details are confirmed, so we recommend you keep checking this page to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.

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Friday’s FIA press conference – Planet F1


Planet F1
Friday's FIA press conference
Planet F1
The promoters have done a great job with the facilities we have, so it will be a good weekend. Q: This time … Checo has a huge following, we have many large Mexican sponsors and I personally love Mexico because there are many similarities with India
FIA Friday press conference – MexicoFormula 1
Mexican GP Friday F1 press conference full transcriptautosport.com
Friday Team Personnel Press Conference – TranscriptFormulaSpy.com
Autoracing1 (subscription)
all 95 news articles »

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Industry leaders discuss urban mobility at the EMBARQ conference in Delhi – YourStory.com


YourStory.com
Industry leaders discuss urban mobility at the EMBARQ conference in Delhi
YourStory.com
The last decade has witnessed entirely new means of public transport, which in cities has been greatly shaped by the use of apps and collaborative consumption. Both autonomous vehicles and connected cars have seen a widespread growth, while electric …

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Phyllis Bennis Joins Hofstra University’s Conference on the George W. Bush Presidency


Phyllis joins the discussion at 1:14:00.

The post Phyllis Bennis Joins Hofstra University’s Conference on the George W. Bush Presidency appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism project.

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Oxfam reaction to International Ebola conference in Brussels

Oxfam reaction to International Ebola conference in Brussels

Today the Presidents of the three Ebola affected countries and senior figures from the UN, African Union and EU gathered in Brussels to discuss how to eradicate the virus and how to address recover

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Oxfam’s reaction to Berlin conference on the Syrian refugee situation

Oxfam's reaction to Berlin conference on the Syrian refugee situation

Oxfam welcomes the importance placed in Berlin on assisting neighbouring countries, but words alone are not enough.

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