A report from the Discount Foundation and the Neighborhood Funders Group
Labor Center Associate Chair Steven Pitts is one of 5 authors of the new report #BlackWorkersMatter. The report, released by the Discount Foundation and the Neighborhood Funders Group, discusses data on the state of Black workers, the relationship between the Black jobs crisis and the overall quality of life in Black communities, and potential strategies to improve the quality of jobs held by Blacks through worker organizing. In his essay, “Low-Wage Work in the Black Community,” Pitts provides data on the extent of low-wage work in the Black community. In addition, he highlights the fact that today’s Black jobs crisis (and other issues of racial inequality) are occurring during the Age of Inequality and, hence, solutions to structural racism that might have been successful in the past are less likely to be successful in this new political-economic context.
The purpose of the #BlackWorkersMatter report is to stimulate conversation about the real roots of the Black jobs crisis and the need to elevate and fund Black worker organizing. The report shows the benefits of organizing to build the power of Black workers to challenge the structural racism that perpetuates black social, political, and economic inequity. From community benefit agreements to “ban the box” campaigns to fights for a higher minimum wage, community organizing is winning real changes for black workers and their families.
In addition to the examples of Black workers organizing around the country, the report also provides broader context on the economic implications of the twin crises of joblessness and poverty-level wages. Given the scale of the economic crisis facing black communities, the crucial work to organize black workers needs a dramatic increase in funding and support.
To view the full report, please visit www.discountfoundation.org/blackworkersmatter.
Photo: LA Black Worker Center