Today thousands of union workers across our country will be participating in Strike for Black Lives, a protest intended to put a spotlight on racism and police brutality.
At Stanford and Santa Clara Universities we encourage you at 12:00 pm today to reflect on the deaths of George Floyd and other Black people killed by law enforcement, including Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain, for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time initially believed that a police officer knelt on George Floyd‘s neck while being detained.
I also write to you during this tumultuous time in our nation’s history due to the fight to achieve racial justice in a period while a global pandemic is striking our communities. As the Local President, I would like to make it clear that we support the Black Lives Matter movement as it advocates for racial justice and equality. As a diverse Union both at the Local level and International level, we strive to ensure that all our members are treated equally. As a labor movement we stand by Martin Luther King Jr.’s words in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” At Stanford we are fortunate to have access to the historical documents of MLK through the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute (https://kinginstitute.
During these unprecedented times, it is essential that we work together to bring about positive change in our communities. Let us remember that we are Stronger Together.
In that effort, we want to highlight that our Union is only as powerful as the engagement of our members. As such, we created the Racial Justice Committee to work on addressing systemic injustice at the local, state, and national level. We will partner with the SEIU California and the International to engage in efforts in a collective manner. The International Union has had a standing commitment to address racial injustice and continues to do so through its Racial Justice Center (https://www.seiu.org/racial-
[You can also find the commitment our International Executive Board has made to address these inequities – resolution 106A “To Win Economic Justice for Working People, We Must Win Racial Justice” adopted in 2016 and and the most recent resolution to support the Movement for Black Lives.]
If you are interested in getting involved in the Local’s Racial Justice Committee, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that you and your family stay safe and healthy during this time.
Jose N. Escanuela
President, SEIU Local 2007