The mission of the Los Angeles Black Worker Center is to increase access to quality jobs; reduce employment discrimination; and improve industries that employ Black workers through action and unionization. The center seeks to promote economic and racial justice, peace, and prosperity for all of Los Angeles by developing policies and corporate practices that perpetuate equality in the labor market and end inferior jobs in the Black Community.
What We Do
The Los Angeles Black Worker Center develops organized power and authentic grassroots leadership among Black workers (unionized, non-union, immigrant, formerly incarcerated and the unemployed) and the extended community to reverse the disproportionate levels of unemployment and underemployment in the Los Angeles Black community. The center’s key strategies are: leadership development of workers, research, and building strategic alliances between the Los Angeles labor movement and the Black community for action in collective campaigns.
What We Believe
In this Obama era of optimism and opportunity, a new sense of power of the people challenges all of us to address the state of racial and economic injustice with innovative tools and fresh ideas. Grassroots worker leadership and strategic community-labor alliances are needed to fix the broken opportunity ladder for Black workers in Los Angeles, where only 2 in 5 Black workers has a quality job. The job crisis of chronic unemployment and underemployment has badly frayed the social fabric of Black communities and undermined its economic security. These conditions are fueled by anti-worker economic policies, disinvestment in urban communities and racial inequality in the labor market. Workers must demand equity, transparency and accountability in order to achieve equal access to meaningful, sustained, and quality employment for Black workers and for Los Angeles as a whole.
Who We Are
The Los Angeles Black Worker Center is a dynamic table of workers, organized labor, community-based organizations, clergy, students, and scholars working collectively to improve the position of the African-American working class, facilitate co-empowerment of workers and potential workers, and strengthen the voice of LA’s social and economic justice community. We have two locations, one in the Paul Robeson Community Center in South LA and the other at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center in MacArthur Park.
The Los Angeles Black Worker Center (BWC) project grew out of a combination of seven years of experience in low-wage worker organizing in South Los Angeles, developing leadership of Black unionists in the African American Union Leadership School (AAULS), a popular education program at the UCLA Labor Center, and the challenge to sustain progressive labor-community-university coalitions over the long term.
The Labor Center is a vital resource for training workers and students and influencing government policy to create jobs that are good for workers and their communities, to improve the quality of existing jobs in the low-wage economy, and to strengthen the process of immigrant integration, especially among youth and students.