Did the ‘Great Resignation’ Spawn ‘Hot Labor Summer’? That’s the headline on a recent Yahoo News story highlighting a Labor Day media briefing hosted by the Kellogg Foundation that discussed the challenges, opportunities and successes of low-wage workers in America. WKKF grantees National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH), Jobs With Justice and the National Black Worker Center pointed to the importance of supporting workers’ efforts to improve job quality, safety and other protections. “Every worker every day has a right to come home safely at the end of his or her shift, but I’ve got to tell you, we have a long way to achieve this goal,” said Jessica E. Martinez, co-executive director of National COSH.
A new federal grant to Chicago Women in Trades and the Illinois Department of Labor aims to increase the number of women in construction jobs. As reported in the Chicago Sun-Times, the $1.3 million in new funding will support efforts to expand opportunities and training for women to enter the male-dominated field. Right now, women make up roughly 4% of the construction workforce. WKKF grantee Chicago Women in Trades addresses barriers to women’s employment in skilled trades through work that includes operating women-only pre-apprenticeship programs, advancing equitable hiring and retention practices, and providing leadership development for tradeswomen.
Advocacy for the rights of workers means standing in solidarity with others in the fight for jobs and careers that can sustain children and families. It’s especially important to remember the importance of the fundamental right to collective bargaining, which allows workers to demand a more equitable and just workplace. For more information on solidarity economics and how we can all reclaim our worker autonomy read this report, Solidarity Works, published with the Solidarity Council on Racial Equity (SCORE).
Young leaders stepped forward during the racial justice protests in 2020, including then- San Franisco Bay Area high school student Tiana Day, who led a march across the Golden Gate Bridge. Now a college student, Day’s commitment to racial justice lives on through her nonprofit organization, Youth Advocates for Change. The organization uses the arts to inspire racial healing, advocacy and activism among high school students. Day’s story is part of the WKKF- supported racial healing series with Word in Black.
Nonprofit Quarterly recently featured WKKF grantee the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice, which started as an increasing number of young women emerged as champions for renewable energy. Hive Fund advocates quickly saw an opportunity to help more women of color become leaders in climate and gender justice movements. The organization directs money to communities working at the intersection of climate, racial and gender justice, with a focus on elevating women of color leaders, specifically those in the U.S. South.
Across the U.S., the unwinding of the continuous enrollment requirement for Medicaid has led to many issues with the way states are communicating renewals with Medicaid enrollees. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, states are not processing renewals correctly and children are most impacted, with an estimated 74% of children being disenrolled from Medicaid who are still eligible for coverage. Fortunately, WKKF grantees are sounding the alarm, such as the National Health Law Program, which filed a lawsuit in Florida against the illegal termination of Medicaid benefits.