What's New at Coalition of Labor Union Women
March is Women’s History Month and the perfect time to prioritize learning about and passing on the stories and accomplishments of women whose voices have shaped our country and the labor and feminist movements.
Women’s History Month was adopted through a national effort in the 1970’s and 80’s to urge schools to include women’s achievements in their curriculum. Activists then used that momentum to push local, state and eventually the federal government to recognize the necessity of no longer leaving women out of the history books (Why March is National Women's History Month). In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity.
Women’s labor history is especially rich. In fact International Women’s Day, which now takes place on March 8th, grew out of the American socialist movement of the early twentieth century. It began as a commemoration of the New York City garment worker strikes in 1908 which were ongoing for more than a year (Why International Women's Day is March 8th). These strikes saw thousands of working women standing up for fairer working conditions and recognition of the value of women’s labor and humanity.
For a list of other key moments in women’s labor history view this timeline put together by AFSCME here and visit the National Women’s History Museum resources website page for tools to help pass along this history.
In celebration of the month, National CLUW is co-sponsoring the phenomenal multi-media women's labor history project “We Were There”. The show was written by Bev Grant and will be performed by her along with a cast of women leaders and activists from the DC area playing important, yet often overlooked, leaders from women’s history.
Bev Grant is a labor and social activist, singer-songwriter, and photographer who has won multiple awards for her work including the 2017 Joe Hill Award from the Labor Heritage Foundation for her work as a cultural worker. Additionally she was the 2017 winner of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Foundation’s Jay Gorney award for the title song of “We Were There” which she wrote as the cultural director of the United Association for Labor Education NE Union Women’s Summer School.
As the current founder and director of the Brooklyn Women’s Chorus and the former leader of Human Condition, a cutting edge folk/rock & world music band which recorded their first album “Working People Gonna Rise” in the early 60’s, Grant has always used her music as an avenue for change. Additionally she has utilized photography to document key moments in the labor and early radical women’s movements of which she was a part, including the Poor People's Campaign, the Miss America Beauty Pageant Protest in 1968, and the W.I.T.C.H Hex on Wall Street. Her online photo gallery can be viewed here and music website here.
Women like Bev Grant keep women’s labor history alive and make new history through their accomplishments and activism. CLUW is proud to spotlight her work for Women’s History Month. “We Were There” will be held at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington DC on March 28th. See flier for full details here.
How are you celebrating Women’s History Month? Let the CLUW National office know what your CLUW chapter or union local is focusing on this month by emailing CLUW@cluw.org and we will try to feature it on our website. Thank you!
Bev Grant performing in "Women's Work"at the Howland Cultural Center in New York, on April 15, 2018
Join CLUW at the upcoming National Executive Board Meeting and Sisters Not Afraid of Power: On the Hill Lobby Day taking place April 9-11, 2019 at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center (TDCC) at 10000 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20903. All CLUW members (including those who are not members of the NEB) are welcome to attend the board meeting as observers and join in the Lobby Day (more information on the Lobby Day can be found below). See Tentative Agenda here.
The registration form in PDF and WORD documents are available here and must be completed and turned into the CLUW office. Payment for Lobby Day attendance should accompany your registration by check or through online credit card. Registration Deadline is: March 27, 2019.
Commuters (not staying overnight at the TDCC) will be responsible for the registration fee and can purchase meals on site in the conference dining room by individual credit card.
Room rates at Tommy Douglas Conference Center are: Single Occupancy: $179.00; Double Occupancy: $269/$134.50 per person (2 occupants required). All rates are subject to 6% MD sales tax and 7% county occupancy tax. Room reservations should be made no later than March 27, 2019 under the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) Room Block by calling 240.645.4000 from 9 AM till 5 PM ET Monday thru Friday or via E-mail email@example.com. A deposit of one-night's room charge is due with each reservation. Failure to cancel at least 48 hours prior to the reservation will result in forfeiture of advance deposit or one nights's room and tax billed to the credit card. Check-in is after 3:00 PM and check-out is before 11:00 AM.
The conference center is deluxe dormitory style with free wireless in guest rooms and public spaces, free self-parking and access to fitness center and recreation room. A lounge with bar and snacks is on campus. The room rate includes two (2) meals per overnight guest. Dinner is available from 5:30 till 7:00 PM on 4/8 and 4/10; lunch is available on 4/9 and 4/11 (11:30 AM till 1:00 PM); breakfast is available 4/8 - 4/12 (7:30 till 9:00 AM). If you check in after the last meal time (above) you can pick up a boxed meal at the front desk. You will be responsible for other meals either in the vicinity or in the dining room (credit cards accepted) or on Capitol Hill (Lobby Day).
CLUW Lobby Day Wednesday, April 10
Individual appointments must be scheduled with your representative and senators and should be arranged from 10:30 AM and completed by 2:30 PM.
Please complete the Lobby Day information on the pre-registration form and return it to the National CLUW Office as soon as possible.
The Lobby Day Tentative Agenda includes an issue briefing, lobby tips and de-briefing at the end of the day. Legislation under consideration for Lobby Day: the Paycheck Fairness Act, Raise the Wage Act, FAMILY (Family and Medical Insurance Leave) Act and Medicare for All Act of 2019. You can find background information by accessing the POPVOX website here.
Closest airports: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshal Airport (BWI) and Reagan National Airport.
Contact the CLUW National Office if you are seeking a roommate or want to share a room by calling 202.508.6969 or via E-mail: CLUW@cluw.org.
Gloria T. Johnson in June 2002 at CLUW National Executive Board meeting, Washington, DC
Gloria Tapscott Johnson was CLUW’s president from 1993 until 2004 and previously the national treasurer for seventeen years. She was a founding member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. Please see more information about this inspiring leader here.
The purpose of the Gloria T. Johnson Scholarship Program is described in one of CLUW’s founding principles — to “encourage and increase women’s active participation in their unions” through support of women who want to learn and/or develop leadership skills. The program is designed to build and support a mentoring system that will help young women learn new skills so that they will be prepared to take leadership roles in their unions.
The Gloria T. Johnson Scholarship Program will provide a scholarship (or reimbursement) for costs of classes taken through an accredited labor studies program (up to $1,000) to build mentoring skills for a union woman willing to serve as a mentor. The winner of the scholarship will agree to serve as a mentor to a young woman (or women) and/or an internship (at least 6 months in length).
The program is designed to inspire, provide support and be a complete experience for the scholarship winner as well as for a young woman (or women) who will be mentored or gain experience as an intern. The scholarship is available to union women and the children of union women (CLUW members and their children shall be given priority in the selection process).
Please see a more detailed description along with the application here. Application deadline is September 1, 2019.