Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
Kay Whigan (BAC) stands 6 feet, 3 inches tall and carries a deep and booming voice. A welding instructor at the John J. Flynn Bricklayers (BAC)/IMI International Training Center in Maryland, he admits that one of his biggest fears about becoming an instructor was how his students would perceive him. As a Black man who grew up in Alabama, Whigan said he is no stranger to racism. So as an instructor, he worried that his appearance might be intimidating. “I wasn’t sure I wanted to take the job,” said Whigan, who said he was tapped some years ago for a foreman role. “They told me I’d be good at it because of how I carry myself and how I treat people. When I’m working with someone—whether it’s a student in the shop or a worker on the job—I want them to feel nourished and uplifted. We need to make a point to lend one another a helping hand.” Click here to read more about what Black training leaders are doing to build a more diverse and inclusive union.