During Black History Month, we will be profiling past and present leaders in the intersecting movements to protect and expand the rights of African Americans and working families. We'll highlight both important leaders of the past and those who are continuing the legacy of those strong leaders who laid the foundation for the present. Today, we take a look at Rachel Bryan.
Rachel Bryan is currently the governmental relations and community liaison at Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 595 in Stockton, Calif. She became involved in the labor movement as a member of the local’s apprenticeship program.
She showed her activist’s instincts and passion on her first campaign, 2012’s "NO on 32." Workers and their allies mounted a major grassroots mobilization to defeat the paycheck deception ballot measure that was driven and financed by corporations and wealthy out-of-state extremist donors.
Because of Bryan’s hard work and unmeasurable contribution to the success of the campaign, she was asked to join the IBEW staff. Since then, she has recruited more than a dozen workers to become IBEW members. Not only that, but she works tirelessly with community groups, her local labor council, the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus and the AFL-CIO to promote racial equality and economic development for African Americans, other minorities and women in the workforce.
Bryan believes there is still much to be done to achieve full inclusion and, without a doubt, young workers will be vital in changing the landscape and the conversation. She serves as inspiration to many in her fight for access to high-value jobs, the end of stereotypes, progressive policy and showing that black lives matter.
This is our last installment of Black History Month labor profiles. But don't forget that you can win one of 100 Black History Month posters by texting the code “BLACK” (for Black History Month) to 235246.