On June 8th and 9th, the Labor Research Action Network (LRAN) hosted its 2017 national conference at Howard University co-sponsored by the Political Science department. This was LRAN’s first convening at Howard, one of the nation’s oldest Historically Black College and Universities. The recent presidential election has emboldened the most white supremacist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic elements of this country. Hosting the conference at Howard is a demonstration of LRAN’s commitment to racial and economic justice. We were pleased to see how thelocation attracted a younger and more racially and ethnically diverse group of attendees.
The conference was composed of two plenary sessions and fifteen workshops. The two plenary’s were “Building Worker Power Under the Trump Administration” and “Messaging to Win.” Panelists included Princess Moss (Secretary-Treasurer of National Education Association), Clarence Lusane (Chair of Political Science at Howard), Sharon Block (Harvard Law School) and others. The workshops covered a range of topics from women in the labor movement to automation in the logistics industry toorganizing strategies in manufacturing. This year LRAN distributed $15,500 to the New Scholar grantees for their research on critical worker issues, and the grantees discussed their research in progress at the conference. The conference also seeded a new LRAN initiative focused on promoting the recruitment and retention of Black researchers in the labor movement.