In partnership with Morehouse College and the Institute for Policy Studies, Jobs With Justice launched the Advancing Black Strategists Initiative (ABSI) in the fall of 2020. We began with a vision to create a cohort of Black economic justice and labor-focused strategists committed to leading, developing, and advancing policies and campaigns that support collective power-building of working people – particularly in the South.
With the significant need for Black leadership at all levels of movement work, the inaugural ABSI Movement Fellowship Program kicked off in the Spring of 2022. This paid apprenticeship program offered a cohort of Black worker-leaders direct experience developing and implementing strategies that sought to expand organizing and collective bargaining power with Black-led campaigns in the U.S. South, the opportunity to share experiences and advance their understanding of the ABSI ‘School of Thought’ in fellowship with Black academics, labor leaders, and organizers. With focused strategies that seek to expand workers’ direct role in creating, implementing and enforcing new standards beyond simply passing policy, the Fellows examined the effects of race, class, gender, and power on workers across the South.
Jobs With Justice was thrilled to celebrate the Advancing Black Strategists Initiative Movement Fellows at a graduation reception on June 6.
The reception served as a powerful venue to continue fighting against the repressive barriers that exist against the collective power of working people – especially Black workers – in the United States and the American South. The destruction of these barriers is the key to building lasting economic power and a thriving democracy for all working people.