The Iowa City Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO is hosting its first ever Black Workers’ Conference on Jan. 16 to “bring together black workers active in their unions or communities.”

Union members and area workers in the Hawkeye State are invited to the conference at the ICFL Hall on 940 S. Gilbert Court in Iowa City if they are interested in learning about “workplace rights, racial justice, and labor issues.”

According to an ICFL news release, the conference is being organized in light of “much-needed national attention to ongoing instances of racial injustice” and “the role it plays in the lives of millions of workers.”

“At the national level, a new AFL-CIO Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice is exploring racial issues within the labor movement, and seeking ways for voices of all working people to be heard on complex racial issues in order to advance the fight for workers’ rights.”

Saturday’s speakers will include UI Law professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig and UAW Region 4 Civil and Human Rights Council president Pamela Davidson, both of whom are University of Iowa Labor Center instructors.

There will be sessions on the following topics at the conference:

Race and labor rights—U.S. labor and civil rights history, and key trends and issues affecting black workers today
Your rights at work—Introduction to legal rights and contract enforcement
Building power for the future—Contemporary roles of the labor movement in struggles for racial justice

The event will be presented by the UI Iowa Labor Center and is sponsored by the ICFL, the Center for Worker Justice in Eastern Iowa and the Iowa City Black Voices Project with assistance from the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

The one-day gathering will last from 9am-3:30pm.

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