February marks the beginning of Black History Month–a time to remember and celebrate the rich history of African Americans and the achievements of the civil rights movement.
One of the greatest moments of the civil rights era was the March on Washington in 1963, where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his inspirational “I Have a Dream” speech. The March on Washington was organized largely by civil rights and labor leader A. Philip Randolph and other black labor leaders to promote freedom, economic equality and jobs. The march brought thousands of people of all races together, and paved the way for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In spite of the advances we have made, the fight for social and economic justice continues. In the retail sector alone, which is an important employer of minorities and women, too many workers are struggling to survive in low-wage jobs with little to no benefits. The assault on workers’ rights continues to persist, and in many cases, retail workers who want to stick together to bargain for better wages and benefits are threatened, intimidated and sometimes fired by their employers.
The need to mobilize for freedom, jobs and economic equality has never been stronger, and the Retail Justice Alliance is honored to carry on the work of the 1963 activists by fighting for social and economic justice in the retail industry and in our communities.