On Aug. 28, the 2020 Virtual March on Washington was held to honor the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream Speech." Among the distinguished speakers in the lineup of the 2020 march was AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW), who spoke to labor's commitment to continue the work of the 1963 march and to do better for our Black members, friends and neighbors. Watch Shuler's speech:
Whether it’s in professional sports...or in our communities...we in the labor movement are feeling excruciating pain, anger and grief. We will do our part to end racism in our economy, our politics, our workplaces and our union halls.
And on top of the widespread racism throughout our country’s institutions, COVID-19 is exposing the cracks that were already poisoning our system. A system that denies housing and health care and opportunity to far too many people of color. That’s why Black and Brown people are more likely to lose their jobs or get sick and die in this pandemic.
We have to do better. Now...NOW is the time to do the work and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that are sitting in the Senate.
As a White person, I know that I will never experience the same pain and trauma that Black people have been feeling over and over again.
All I can say is I understand what I can’t possibly understand. But I choose to stand. And to kneel. And raise a fist. And shed a tear. And say a prayer. And fight like hell to make real change.
As one united labor movement, we stand with our Black members, friends and neighbors.