In this seventh episode of Black Work Talk, host Steven Pitts welcomes Erica Smiley, Executive Director of Jobs with Justice. Smiley has been with Jobs with Justice for over 15 years. Prior to joining the organization, she worked at a number of unions and community-based organizations. During the episode, we spoke about a variety of topics including the need to go beyond the red state/blue state view of today’s politics and gain a better appreciation of the nuances within all of the states. In addition, Smiley advocated analyzing organizing prospects through the lens of what has been a state’s (or region’s) history with democracy and collective bargaining infrastructure. She closed by talking about the importance of developing a vibrant vision for democracy in order to building social movements with broader political horizons.
For background on some of the topics discussed go to:
-An interview Smiley conducted with National Public Radio on September 6, 2020 https://www.npr.org/2020/09/06/910321514/the-state-of-the-american-worker-during-a-pandemic
-An April 2018 article Smiley wrote about the teachers strikes https://www.jwj.org/teachers-map-our-path-to-power