VIRTUAL EVENT (Zoom)
Aug 16, 2023
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (GMT-5)
Center for Economic and Policy Research
The Relevance of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Today: A Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom
August 28, 2023, will mark the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It is often forgotten that Dr. King’s dream was not only to have legal civil rights for African Americans but also economic justice for all poor, marginalized groups in the United States.
One of the demands of that march was for “[a] massive federal program to train and place all unemployed workers — Negro and white — on meaningful and dignified jobs at decent wages.”
As the historian Michael K. Honey states, in the last year of King’s life:
He sought an Economic Bill of Rights for Native Americans, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and poorer whites, as well as for blacks. He sought to create a nonviolent army of poor people in jobless inner cities and barrios and in reservation and rural areas. He challenged the country to create an economy of full employment.
Six decades have passed since that historic convening, and chronic joblessness remains as much a problem today as it was then. Even as the national economy booms, pockets of high joblessness persist all across America. Additionally, many of our nation’s civil rights victories are under threat or are being overturned. Now is the time to renew and rejuvenate our commitment to jobs and freedom.
The Full Employment for All coalition has organized four-panel discussions on jobs and freedom throughout August. The panels will draw lessons from the past and gather insights from the present to help the country move toward a better future for all people, regardless of race.
Register for one or all upcoming discussions each Wednesday in August:
The Continuing Struggle for Freedom
Wednesday, August 16 @ 1 PM ET
From sophisticated attacks on voting rights to rising waves of extremism to a radicalizing Supreme Court, our panel of experts will highlight the threats to our union–and provide practical tips on how we can protect our neighbors and our nation.
Yterenickia "YT" Bell
She is currently the Senior Advisor, Voting for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Previously, she held the role of the National Organizing Director at Care in Action/National Domestic Workers Alliance, supervising the state directors and program managers in seven core states while developing electoral and legislative strategy for state and federal campaigns. Prior to that, she was the Director at the Progressive Governance Academy, a project between the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), Local Progress, and re:power to build and develop the leadership and governance skills of progressive state and local elected officials across the country. She is a native Georgian and graduated from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science and a Master’s in Social Work and Public Administration with a focus in Economic Development and Planning. Bell has worked as a social worker and public policy professional serving vulnerable communities and solving complex problems for over a decade. She is also a Councilwoman in the City of Clarkston, Georgia and a part-time professor at Georgia State University.
President and founder of Transformative Justice Coalition, is internationally renowned for contributions on critical justice issues including the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 2006 reauthorization of provisions of the Voting Rights Act. She is the board vice-chair of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and serves on the board of directors of MomsRising and Independent Sector. Arnwine’s work also includes women’s rights, immigrant rights, judicial diversity, criminal justice reform, racial profiling, health care disparities and LBGTQ rights. A prominent leader in the civil and human rights community, she continues to fight for the preservation of affirmative action and diversity programs.
Serves as policy counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). Before joining LDF, Jared served in the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel in the office of Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, where he served as Mayor Bowser’s liaison to the Washington area legal and judicial community and the general counsels of all district government agencies. A native of Louisiana, Jared is a cum laude graduate of Grambling State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a concentration in public policy and was elected to several positions in student government including senior class president.
Senior Policy Counsel, Hate & Extremism at the Southern Poverty Law Center: Michael Lieberman is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Senior Policy Counsel in Washington, focusing on countering hate and extremism. He joined SPLC in May, 2020, after serving, for thirty years, as the Anti-Defamation League’s Washington Counsel. Michael received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his law degree from Duke University where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Duke Law Journal. Michael has testified before Congress and a number of state legislatures on hate crime laws and initiatives to confront domestic extremism. He received the Justice Department’s 2015 Meritorious Public Service Award for his leadership work in helping to enact and implement the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 and for building coalitions to combat hate violence.
Evaluating Our Progress on Jobs and Freedom and Needed Next Steps
Wednesday, August 23 @ 1 PM ET
In the week leading up to the anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, our panel of experts will explore how far we have come in the last sixty years and how far we have left to go.
Jessica Fulton is the interim president and vice president of Policy at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America's Black Think Tank. An expert on issues at the intersection of race and economic policy, Ms. Fulton's work focuses on identifying and promoting policies to advance the socioeconomic status of the Black community. She has held policy research and advocacy roles at the federal, state, and local levels, and serves on the advisory board of the Sadie Collective and the Board of Governors of Black Swan Academy.
Chief of Membership, Policy and Equity, National Community Reinvestment Coalition. During his tenure as Chief of Race, Wealth and Community he oversaw Fair Housing, Fair Lending, the Women’s Business Center of DC, the National Training Academy, the Housing Counseling Network and started the Racial Economic Equity Department. As Chief of Membership, Policy and Equity, Dedrick oversees, Membership, Organizing, Research, Policy and CRA. Dedrick comes from Prosperity Now where he was Senior Fellow and Founder of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative. Before Prosperity Now, Dedrick worked for the NAACP, where he was the Senior Director of the Economic Department and Executive Director of the Financial Freedom Center. Dedrick has also worked for Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and the Institute for Policy Studies. Dedrick serves as chair of the Board for Beyond Savvy, an organization focused on financial empowerment for the justice impacted. He also sits on a variety of advisory boards, including Advancing Black Strategies Initiative, National League of Cities Racial Wealth Divide Initiative, Financial Health Network’s PULSE, Landis and Better Markets.
Adewale A. Maye is a policy and research analyst with the Economic and Policy Institute's Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy. Prior to joining EPI, Adewale was a policy analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), where he focused on expanding workers’ rights on issues including paid leave, paid sick days, and fair scheduling, as well as advocating for broader economic justice initiatives that impact marginalized communities, such as student loan debt cancellation and labor standards enforcement.
Katy Youker joined the Lawyers’ Committee as the Director for the Economic Justice Project in August 2021. Before coming to the Lawyers’ Committee, Katy spent close to two decades at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA) representing farmworkers and low-wage workers in litigation in state and federal court, including enforcement of rights under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and anti-discrimination statutes. While at TRLA, Katy started the Low Wage Worker Project, a team to focus novel and comprehensive advocacy on the epidemic of wage theft. For nine years, she served as the Coordinator of the Labor and Employment Group at TRLA, a practice group providing legal services to low-wage workers in Southwest Texas, including the entire Texas-Mexico border, and farmworkers in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. In addition, she has served on the State Bar of Texas Labor and Employment Section executive council, local government committees, and nonprofit boards of directors, including as a founding board member of Border Workers United, a workers’ center on the Texas-Mexico border. Katy received her JD from the University of Houston Law Center and BA from Evergreen State College.
Liz King is a Senior Program Director of Education at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
The Forgotten History of the March for Jobs and Freedom
Wednesday, August 2 @ 1 PM ET
Sixty years ago this summer, hundreds of thousands of Americans convened in Washington, DC, to advocate for civil and economic rights for all. While best known for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s iconic “I Have a Dream Speech,” the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom originally positioned securing employment for all as a central rallying point. While much has changed for Black families in America in the intervening years, employment disparities remain a persistent problem. Join some of the nation’s leading experts in a lively historical discussion of the labor and economic roots of the march…and its lessons for today.
Joined Demos in 2017 as the Partnerships Manager and is now Director of the Movement Building team. Carol leads our partnerships work, including the Inclusive Democracy Project, and supports grassroots partner organizations through facilitation, subgrants, and leadership development. She also leads critical conversations about organizing strategies to build power with communities of color and working-class communities working to achieve an inclusive, multiracial democracy. Carol has a B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in African American Studies from Columbia University. Her academic research focused on the politics of race, sexuality, and Christian identity. Carol earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington University in 2018.
William P. Jones
William P. Jones is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches and researches the history of race and class in the United States. He has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, The Nation and other publications, and is author of The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola University of Chicago Tanya moved to the deep south in 1991 to launch an organizing career empowering women and people of color. Those early days taught her an important lesson that is still true today “We don’t rise by the goodwill of others – we rise when we stand up!” As Executive Director of the National Black Worker Center (NBWC) she lives out her lifelong passion of serving a movement of Black people who have long been ready to be the leaders of their own liberation. The NBWC provides fertile ground for strong Black leader-full activism that destroys the systems that keep all workers in chains; and is building a national worker movement that is strengthened and emboldened by every Black worker leader that enters the struggle for fair working conditions.
Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III
He is a graduate of Wilberforce University in Ohio, America’s first private HBCU. He is pursuing his masters degree at Erskine Theological Seminary. In September 2008, Rev. Rivers became Pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, SC. In July 2014, Rev. Rivers was appointed by Rev. Al Sharpton as Vice President of Religious Affairs and External Relations of the National Action Network (NAN). Rev. Rivers served at every level of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1976 until 2014. His civil rights work led to the election of more than 300 new black elected officials in South Carolina from 1986 to 1994. He was a leading organizer of the largest civil rights demonstration ever in South Carolina when over 50,000 marched in Columbia, SC, January 2000 to demand the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag.
The Continuing Struggle for Jobs
Wednesday, August 9 @ 1 PM ET
From Appalachia to Indian Country, from the urban core to the rural heartland, extraordinary pockets of high joblessness persist in America. This panel will explore the problem of concentrated poverty, and some surprising and creative ways that communities have managed to turn their fortunes around.
Associate Director at the Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality (GCPI) in Washington, DC. At GCPI, Kali leads crosscutting policy development and research projects on a range of issue areas advancing economic, racial, and gender equity. She has written extensively about job creation, work supports and labor standards, public benefits and tax credits, COVID-19 response, and health and human services delivery, informed in part by her own experiences with economic insecurity and disability. Her work has been covered by national, state, and local media, cited in Congressional testimony, and utilized to inform policy and programmatic proposals and implementation at the federal, state, and local levels.
Dr. Algernon Austin
Director, Race and Economic Justice, Center for Economic and Policy Research. Algernon Austin has conducted research and writing on issues of race and racial inequality for over 20 years. His primary focus has been on the intersection of race and the economy. Austin was the first Director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy where he focused on the labor market condition of America’s workers of color. Austin has a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University, and he taught sociology as a faculty member at Wesleyan University.
Ted uses sound research and analysis to advance shared prosperity through people, projects, and policy. His current areas of work include oil and gas issues, fiscal policy, energy economics, and economic development. Prior to joining ORVI, he was the founding executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. Ted has authored numerous publications and commentaries, testified to various government bodies, and is frequently cited in the media on policy issues. Ted is an Honorary Labor Hall of Fame member of the Southwestern District Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
Britnee Johnston is of Vietnamese/Blackfeet descent and works as a research analyst at the Native Nations Institute. Her research focuses on various issues in Indigenous communities such as workforce development, digital inclusion, and community engagement. Previously, she worked at the Utah Data Research Center and the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Britnee is a PhD student in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona and has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Utah.
An independent public policy and nonprofit management consultant. Her policy work focuses on youth and economic justice issues such as Summer Youth Employment Programs, pre-apprenticeship, and WIOA Youth. She co-leads the Communities Collaborating to Reconnect Youth Network, a national learning community of youth workforce systems leaders. Noel also assists community-based organizations with program design and evaluation, leadership coaching, strategic planning, and fund development.
Kali Grant is Associate Director at the Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality (GCPI) in Washington, DC. At GCPI, Kali leads crosscutting policy development and research projects on a range of issue areas advancing economic, racial, and gender equity. She has written extensively about job creation, work supports and labor standards, public benefits and tax credits, COVID-19 response, and health and human services delivery, informed in part by her own experiences with economic insecurity and disability. Her work has been covered by national, state, and local media, cited in Congressional testimony, and utilized to inform policy and programmatic proposals and implementation at the federal, state, and local levels. Kali is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) and an Executive Committee Board member of AmeriCorps Alums DC; she has also advised presidential campaigns on various social and economic policies. She holds an MPP from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown and a BA with Research Distinction from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.