More than 1,000 SEIU members, staff, officers and activists gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, in March to “ignite” our labor movement and the fight for economic justice.
During the conference, IGNITE participants committed to mobilize their friends, family and coworkers to support the April 15 National Day of Action.
IGNITE participants spent four days sharing their personal stories of struggle and triumph, exploring the connections between economic and racial justice, delving into what it would mean to win $15 an hour for millions of low-wage workers, and getting equipped to go back home and strengthen and grow our union.
The SEIU Local 521 delegation was led by Chief Executive Officer Luisa Blue and President Gwyn Harshaw. Participants reported that there was so much power in the room, it was impossible not to be inspired. The convention, held March 7-10, moved Local 521 delegate Jeff Weaver, from San Mateo County, to run for San Mateo City Council.
“It was truly a wonderful and inspiring experience. I was honored to be with all the participants at this conference! In unity!”
– Luisa Blue, SEIU 521 Chief Executive Officer
From the front-line struggle for racial equality, the fight for $15, and the fight for a fair immigration policy, SEIU is leading the charge for social justice. Participants spent constructive hours in workshops learning from each other and how to build labor movement leadership for the 21st century.
“The IGNITE conference lit a stronger fire in me. I feel my life is enriched by each and every one I met.”
– Jennifer Jensen, SEIU 521 Region 4 Executive Board Delegate
From insightful discussions on capitalism and its contribution to the oppression of the working class, to heart-felt testimonials of children in fear that their parents would be deported, the conference was both tearful and hopeful.
It was an inspiring and wonderful experience to hear the voices of 1,000 union activists coming together to demand a better today and a brighter tomorrow, for ourselves and our children.
“I am grateful for having had the opportunity to come together with other brothers and sisters of SEIU to meet, learn from each other and brainstorm. I left feeling optimistic and looking forward to victory ahead! In solidarity!”
– Tonya York, SEIU 521 Region 6 Vice President
“It was really an awesome and inspiring experience. I was glad to be at this conference with you all who made me feel as though I was part of a big family. I am a spark and I am ready for April 15. In unity!”
– Tina Nguyen, SEIU 521 Home Care Chief Steward
“Members are making the connections between political, economic, and labor justice to build the strength, the determination, and the vision to create a more just society,” said Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU. “We know connecting economic justice with racial justice strengthens our power to fight for of ALL working families and win a more just society.”
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