Washington, August 29, 2018 – Today, the National Black Worker Center Project (NBWCP) Executive Director Tanya Wallace-Gobern, released the following statement in advance of Labor Day to celebrate the achievements and lift up the challenges of Black Workers in observance of Black Labor Day on September 3, 2018: 

“This country is literally built on the backs of Black people. Since slavery, Black folks were brutally forced into building some of this nation’s most iconic institutions and establishments — including the White House. Fast forward, Black workers, regardless of our contributions, continue to find ourselves undervalued both systematically and individually. 

“The NBWCP proclaims Labor Day as Black Labor Day, a celebration of Black worker achievements and an expression of gratitude for the willingness to stand up, resist, and lift up the rest of us in the process. 

“Black workers are like the canaries in the coal mine of our economy; what happens to Black workers foreshadows what can happen to workers generally as they become more vulnerable to anti-worker economic policies. Conversely, the policies that lift up Black workers also benefit other workers, particularly those most vulnerable to exploitation. That said, we have a long way to go in terms of addressing the unique challenges faced by Black workers.

“Black workers are a critical part of the United States workforce. The more Black workers are included as part of the solution, and the more focus we put on addressing the Black jobs crisis explicitly, the more we are able to protect all workers’ civil rights and simultaneously increase access and retention of Black workers in quality jobs.

“In order for this nation to be prosperous, real investments need to include basics like access to quality employment, adequate training, and equal access in hiring given the generations of racialized strife against the advancement of Black folks. Businesses also need to address barriers to employment and adopt accountability measures that ensure economic mobility and equal opportunity for our communities. The National Black Worker Center Project and our affiliates will advocate for nothing less on Black Labor Day 2018.

“Black Labor Day 2018, is ultimately about celebrating us. Join us as we celebrate Black work! Use the hashtags #ThankBlackWorkers and #BlackLaborDay on your social media accounts.

“Add “Celebrate Black Labor Day #ThankBlackWorkers” to your email signature line.

“Write a blog about the importance of Black work in America.

“Send a “thank you” to the Black workers you know.

“Finally, join our #ThankBlackWorkers Twitter storm on Monday, September 3, from 3 PM to 5 PM EST to help us create awareness about the ways race impacts Black workers.”

The National Black Worker Center Project (NBWCP) launched in 2011 to address the job crisis for Black workers. Its mission is 1) to support and incubate Black worker centers that empower Black workers to advance their rights and improve the quality of jobs in key employment centers; 2) to prevent racial discrimination in hiring and other employment practices and policies; and 3) to provide education about the impacts of low-wage work and unemployment on Black communities. See the full list of NBWCP affiliates in Baltimore; Bay Area; Boston; Chicago; Jackson, MS; New Orleans; Rocky Mount, NC; and Washington, DC.