The Truth and Racial Origin of Right-to-Work Laws

The Truth and Racial Origin of Right-to-Work Laws

Session Type(s): Training

Training Tag(s): Communications

Starts: Saturday, Aug. 12 9:00 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Aug. 12 10:15 AM (Eastern)

Right-to-work laws may sound like they protect working people, but they are actually written by organizations like ALEC and paid for by investors like the Koch Brothers. In this session, you’ll learn about the origins of right-to-work and how these laws increase the profits of corporations and investors, suppress pay and benefits, and bring worker organizing to halt, especially in Southern states. We’ll cover how race is still being used to divide and dilute the power of working men, women, their families and the communities they live in—giving you the history and knowledge needed to create a strategic resistance plan that educates and empowers all Americans.

This training is for all audiences.


Jamal Watkins

Jamal Watkins

Jamal R. Watkins currently serves as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Advancement at the NAACP. Jamal previously led the Association’s efforts to maximize the African-American community’s participation and representation in our democracy as the Vice President of Civic Engagement at the NAACP.

Mr. Watkins previously served as National Outreach Director for the AFL-CIO. In this role, he was responsible for strengthening and growing national strategic partnerships with the labor movement across a range of priority campaigns and program work.

Prior to joining the AFL-CIO, Mr. Watkins held leadership positions in a number of organizations dedicated to community organizing and civil and human rights. These include Deputy National Political Director at Service Employees International Union; Chief of Staff at the Center for Social Inclusion; Managing Director for Campaigns for Amnesty International, the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization; and, Deputy Director and Interim Executive Director of City Year Los Angeles, a national non-profit AmeriCorps organization.

Mr. Watkins has worked in several distinct arenas, including politics, campaigns, communications, education, human resources, and fundraising. He played key roles as a National Recruiter for the DNC, Fundraising Canvass Director for Grassroots Campaign, Florida State Director of the Young Voter Alliance during the 2004 Presidential Election, Regional Coordinator on the “Yes on Proposition 79” Campaign for Health Access of California, and most recently developing a voter mobilization and engagement field strategy for the 2014 mid-term election cycle.

A native of California and a resident of Washington, D.C., Mr. Watkins earned his B.A. in Philosophy, with a minor in Political Science, at Stanford University and completed graduate-level work at New York University for Speech and Interpersonal Communication. As a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., his motto is “onward and upward.”

Other sessions: Labor Caucus