Shortcut Navigation:

AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts by Carmen Berkley

Let's Get Serious About Mass Incarceration

Let's Get Serious About Mass Incarceration

Mass incarceration is an important issue for working people. These policies have devastated communities of color, weakened our movement, and made the job of law enforcement and corrections officers more dangerous. It's time that we have a deeper conversation about mass incarceration and pursue policy changes that will improve the lives of those who are presently or formerly incarcerated, their families, and our brothers and sisters who work in prisons. Mass incarceration has become a big business whose product is low wages and blighted lives, and the time has come for us to do something about it.

Read more »

Twenty-Nine Days to Celebrate Black History Isn’t Enough

Activist Bree Newsome

Black History Month is meant to celebrate the achievements of African Americans in the United States. While we have made huge strides toward overcoming the barriers that have set us back—we have not fully overcome the damages that centuries of exploitation, oppression and free labor have had on our communities due to enslavement and Jim Crow laws. Many people tell our community that we should “get over it” and “slavery is over, the playing field is equal”—but it's no secret that structural racism has continued to plague our community with higher unemployment rates, overincarceration and a wider education gap than whites and other communities of color.

Read more »

Black Equality Doesn't End in February

Scott T. Baxter, via Getty Images

Black History Month is more than just acknowledgement in a newspaper or a special program at your children's school. It's an opportunity to reflect on how far black people in the United States have come in their struggle for justice and equal rights, while not forgetting the scores of women and men whose lives have been destroyed by our biased judicial system. The mass criminalization of millions of men and women, mostly people of color who are imprisoned for small infractions, creates a group of second-class citizens who are unable to rebuild a life for themselves even after serving their time.

Read more »

Congress, It's Time to End Voting Discrimination

Philadelphia voter registration day, 2012.

One year ago, a majority of Supreme Court justices weakened the federal government's ability to prevent voter discrimination. In a sweeping decision, they decimated the Voting Rights Act, which has helped fulfill the ideals of our democracy for nearly 50 years, and added a new stain to the United States' complicated history on the issue of voting rights.

Read more »

My American Dream: A Minimum Wage that Allows Everyone to Prosper

My American Dream: A Minimum Wage that Allows Everyone to Prosper

When I think of the American Dream, I don't just see images of white picket fences and fathers kissing their children before they leave for work.

I see an African American mother of two dropping her children off at school and driving to her place of employment, with the confidence that she'll have enough gas to get to work and enough food to cook dinner. I imagine a Latina mother able to save enough money to help her son go to the college of his choice regardless of the rising cost of tuition. I see an America where working 40 hours a week allows women of all backgrounds the opportunity to gain prosperity and success. But how can anyone achieve such a dream on $7.25 an hour? They can't.

Read more »

Take Action

Protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done crucial work to safeguard Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders. Tell Congress to protect this important agency.

Sign the petition. »

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Get Email from AFL-CIO


Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 235246 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 235246 for more information.

Blogs

Join Us Online