Our union is more than just an organization that files grievances against bad bosses. We mean it when we say “Community First” – and it starts with member involvement in our caucuses and committees. Our Social Economic Justice Committee (SEJ) engages in social, political and civil rights issues, and works to create a more just society for future generations.
The 7th annual SEJ Summit, held on October 15, 2016 in Fresno, focused on racial disparities that people of color still face every day; we discussed how to foster empathy, how to break down our own biases, and how to be an agent of change and an ally to the racial justice movement.
“On the SEJ Committee, we take action to make positive changes for workers’ rights, oppressed communities, and women & children. We are an extension of SEIU Local 521 in our communities, working together to put our community needs first.” -Alysia Bonner, SEJ Committee Chair and SEIU Local 521 Vice President
With over 40,000 members, our SEIU family is diverse – we come from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, but our caucuses are a great opportunity for members to get involved in their communities and become activists for the issues they care about. In 2016 alone, the Women’s Caucus has started a book drive to benefit children in juvenile detention facilities, the African-American (AFRAM) Caucus helped hire San Jose’s first black fire chief, and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) gave away two $500 scholarships to low-income high school students.
At the SEJ Summit, participants watched several videos, including a recording of Reverend William J. Barber’s speech at SEIU’s 2016 Convention. Barber is a civil rights activist based in North Carolina, and an NAACP board member.