It is with profound sadness that the UC Berkeley Labor Center mourns the passing of Dr. William E. Spriggs, a distinguished scholar, economist, colleague, and friend whose contributions have left an indelible mark on both academia and public policy. Dr. Spriggs’ unwavering dedication to racial and economic justice and his tireless efforts to improve the lives of marginalized communities will forever be remembered.
As part of his extensive and influential scholarly research on labor economics, Dr. Spriggs consistently critiqued mainstream economic theory for its blindspot with regards to racism. In addition, he worked tirelessly to ensure the profession opened its ranks to more people of color and women. As a prominent voice in the public sphere, fearlessly speaking out on matters of economic inequality and social justice, he did not equivocate in his belief that trade unionism was a key strategy to achieve a just world. His powerful advocacy for inclusive economic policies and his relentless pursuit of equity have inspired countless individuals and policymakers alike.
In this time of loss, we extend our deepest condolences to Dr. Spriggs’ family, friends, colleagues, and all those whose lives he touched. While his presence will be greatly missed, his legacy will endure through the countless students he taught and mentored, and his ideas will continue to shape our understanding of economics and social justice for generations to come.
Read more about Dr. Spriggs’ life’s work on the AFL-CIO website.