Lola Smallwood Cuevas, Director

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As director of the BWC, Ms. Smallwood Cuevas is a also a Project Director at the UCLA Labor Center and coordinates the African American Union Leadership School (AAULS), the first union leadership school in California focused on developing the next generation of union leaders through popular education. In addition, Ms. Smallwood Cuevas spearheads the Labor Center’s many South LA-focused programs, publications and undergraduate field research projects.

Ms. Smallwood Cuevas is co-author of the Labor Center’s publication “Women’s Work: Homecare Workers Revitalize the Labor Movement” and “Common Cause,” a chapter on LA’s Black community and Labor in the upcoming UCLA Bunche Center publication Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities.”

Before joining the Labor Center, she served as the political and community organizer for SEIU National Security Organizing campaign in LA. She built a dynamic Black community/political coalition that withstood seven years of hard organizing and built new models of labor/community relationship. This relationship resulted in the first Black woman named president of the newly organized Security Officers United in Los Angeles (SOULA 2006) and the first-time community partners participated directly in the union contract negotiating process.

Lanita Morris, Project Coordinator

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Lanita Morris is a Project Coordinator at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center, where she develops and coordinates leadership development and labor education programs for the Black Worker Center and the California Construction Academy. Lanita has also been a coordinator of the African American Union Leadership School, the Western Regional Summer Institute for Union Women, and the Student Leadership Academy summer internship program.

A native resident of South Los Angeles, Lanita has worked for social change in the African American community for many years. Before joining the Labor Center staff she was Lead Organizer and Training Associate for AGENDA/SCOPE (Action for Grassroots Empowerment and Neighborhood Development Alternatives), a grassroots organization that builds community power among poor & working class African-American and Latino residents of South Los Angeles. While at AGENDA, she facilitated training and political education sessions for ally social change organizations to help build their capacity to do effective community organizing and strategic grassroots campaigns. Lanita earned a B.A. in Public Policy from Occidental College.

La Tonya Harris, Office Manager

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La Tonya Harris joined the Los Angeles Black Worker Center as an Office Manager in June 2012. She provides administrative, facilities and technical support for the BWC office. Prior to her position at the BWC, La Tonya volunteered as an IT specialist for L.A. Crenshaw Work Source Center and worked as an Assistant Manager of Administration for a local U.S. Census office where she was responsible for leadership and support for office and payroll administration and database management.

Sherri Bell, Organizer

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Sherri Bell joined the Los Angeles Black Worker Center as Organizer in fall of 2012.

LA BWC develops organized power and grassroots leaders who strengthen all of Los Angeles by advancing economic and racial justice for Black workers and the families that rely on them.