International Executive Board Resolution in Support of the Movement for Black Lives

In our union, we believe in and fight for our vision for a just society: where all workers are valued and all people respected,  no matter where we are from or the color of our skin; where all families and communities can thrive; and where we leave a more just and equitable world for generations to come.

With that vision in mind, our member leaders enthusiastically passed a convention resolution in 2016 that declared To Win Economic Justice for Working People, We Must Win Racial Justice. That resolution is grounded in our understanding that the fundamental challenges to our vision are structural racism and corporate power; until Black communities and other communities of color can thrive, none of our communities can truly thrive.

Our countries’ refusal to enact bold structural change continues to leave Black people in danger. COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis have hit Black people and other communities of color the hardest, and have been followed by the latest violence against Black people at the hands of police officers and racist vigilantes. These events painfully rein-force how far we still have to go to achieve racial and economic justice.

Frustration has boiled over into the streets, with protestors in all 50 U.S. states and abroad speaking out. We stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives that is demanding justice and driving accountability and change. The Movement for Black Lives speaks to the recognition of our shared fates and values. We are inspired by how the movement has provoked a robust and necessary reimagining of what we can be as a country and how our shared public resources need to be committed to Black communities.

This is a moment where we must lead with unequivocal principle. We must divest from and demilitarize the police and invest in and build Black communities, not demonize and criminalize them. We believe that corporations must be held accountable for investing in our communities. We affirm the call for a dialogue to reimagine the role of police and the criminal justice system. We believe that all workers, including police, should be able to join together in unions; unions are a powerful tool for progressive reform but should never be used as a shield by police against abusive practices and behaviors.

SEIU stands in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives and supports its demands for racial and economic justice. We value and will amplify the voices of Black leadership. To that end, we commit to take the following actions:

  1. Joining and supporting federal, state and local demands – with elected officials and candidates including using our influence to ensure that the Movement for Black Lives has a seat at the table.
  2. Mobilizing and demonstrating alongside the Movement for Black Lives.
  3. Providing material support to the Movement for Black Lives.
  4. Working in partnership and collaboration with the Movement for Black Lives to hold corporations accountable for the ways they maintain structural racism.
  5. Leading in our role as a labor union by:
    • Helping to build and deepen the investment of the labor movement and other movement partners to stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives.
    • Holding public security unions accountable to racial justice including establishing a dialogue with every affected local in our own union on our support of the Movement for Black Lives before our August convention.
    • Engaging our own membership and promoting the cross-racial solidarity so vital in this moment.
  6. Renewing our pledge to becoming an anti-racist organization as laid out in our 2016 convention resolution.
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