Isabel Wilkerson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, will address scholars, labor activists and workers’ center organizers at the second annual conference of the Labor Research and Action Network (LRAN) at Georgetown University on June 12. Wilkerson is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns, a magnificent rendition of the great migration of some 6 million black Americans from the rural South to urban areas in the North and West. She recounts this important historic event by telling the stories of three individuals, including George Swanson Starling, who worked to organize citrus pickers in Florida for higher wages and better working conditions. Wilkerson will discuss how the struggles faced by these oppressed workers is relevant to efforts to achieve social and economic justice today.
Wilkerson will speak at the opening plenary of the conference that will include Georgetown historian Joseph A. McCartin, author of the 2011 book, Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America. Karen Nussbaum, executive director of Working America, will moderate the plenary.
Launched in 2011, the LRAN aims to create a space for labor activists, scholars, worker center organizers and students to generate and exchange fresh ideas that support campaigns to build workplace and economic power for workers. Conference plenary sessions and roundtable discussions will cover topics such as global labor, improving occupational health and safety, organizing on campus, the black labor scholars network, innovative labor organizing campaigns and developing a strategic understanding of private equity firms.
The Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor is hosting the conference. A flier summarizing the conference is available on the Kalmanovitz website. To review the latest detailed agenda for the conference and register online, see the form provided by American Rights at Work.