Labor Spring Speaker Event: “If You Want to Change the World, Join the Labor Movement”

Posted in Labor Spring News

Author, activist, and labor organizer Jane Slaughter, former editor of Labor Notes, delivered remarks on why joining the labor movement is a powerful way for students to enact change locally and globally. Against the backdrop of recent student activism making headlines, her remarks explore the intersections of student activism and the labor movement.

As current student activists advocate for Palestinian freedom and challenge the corporate university’s status quo, the talk explored what students can learn from the revitalized labor movement’s innovative strategies and international solidarity efforts. The talk also addressed the question of how the passion and commitment seen in campus protests might be harnessed for long-term organizing victories

The talk was attended by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty and staff members of three local unions on the U-M Ann Arbor campus. Professor Leila Kawar facilitated questions from the audience about opportunities for student protesters to join the fight for workers’ and human rights locally and beyond. The event was co-sponsored by the Huron Valley Area Labor Federation, by the University of Michigan Residential College and the Department of American Culture, and by the U-M Ann Arbor campus chapters of United Students Against Sweatshops and Young Democratic Socialists of America.

Written by Leila Kawar for the Kalmanovitz Initiative and #LaborSpring