Coalition of Labor Union Women
    • Beatrice Lumpkin, long time CLUW member (Chicago Chapter) addressed the delegates at the American Federation of Teachers’ Convention in Minneapolis on 7-20-16.  She was part of a panel and talked about her lessons from spending 83 years in labor and community organizing.  Then, on 7-21-16 the AFT Women's Rights Committee presented her with a Living the Legacy Award.
      Bea is a founding member of CLUW and at 98 years old she is believed to be the oldest active CLUW member. On March 27, 2014 CLUW honored her with the Pioneer Award during the 40th Anniversary Celebration.
      Sister Lumpkin became an activist in high school in New York City during the Great Depression (1933). She was part of the fight that won unemployment insurance and social security and fought for women’s rights.  She helped organize laundry workers in New Your City in 1937. Moving to Buffalo she worked in a radio factory represented by UE. During the war she fought for the double V – Victory against fascism abroad and Victory against racism at home.. She was active along with her husband who was a steel worker in Chicago. She later became a mathematics teacher and joined the Chicago Teacher Union and was a stalwart in 1971 at the strike at Malcom X College. Since joining CLUW she has been a vice president of the Chicago CLUW chapter, a delegate to the National Executive Board and a delegate to most CLUW Conventions.  She is also an author and mother of 4.
      Congratulation for a life well lived!

      July 5th. Alton Sterling. 37. Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

      July 6th. Philando Castile. 32. Falcon Heights, Minnesota.

      These two black men were stopped by police for minor violations, and then mindlessly gunned down.

      July 7th, in Dallas, Texas during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, 11 people were wounded and 5 police officers killed when a sniper took fire in retaliation.

      The Coalition of Labor Union Women mourns not just for the victims and their families, but for America as a whole. “It is clear that much work needs to be done in order to have justice and equality!” said CLUW President Connie Leak. How many more people have to die before we say enough is enough? It is becoming an epidemic in this country where black men go out but never make it home. These senseless killings need to stop.

      We the people cannot solve this issue on our own; this is a national crisis. As it stands, though African-Americans only make up 13% of the U.S. population, African-Americans have higher rates of death at the hands of police than do white Americans according to FBI data. It is time lawmakers address the issue of police brutality, and pass legislation that actually protects us. We need to end racial-profiling, and re-train officers on nonviolent techniques and deescalating confrontations.

      At our recent convention, CLUW members passed a series of resolutions calling for protections for black lives and a reform of our criminal justice system. CLUW stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers to say Black Lives Matter.

      Many Sunscreens Aren't the SPF They Claim to Be
      from HealthyWomen’s Summer Safety area

      by Stacey Feintuch

      (Editors note: This is the latest article in the monthly article service provided by CLUW from HealthyWomen.  Each article addresses a topic large numbers of respondents asked for in the CLUW/HealthyWomen 2015 survey. Note that we have added a HealthyWomen link on the top of the homepage.  We are archiving previous 2016 articles there.)
      When you head out into the sun, you know that you and your family should be liberally covered in sunscreen, even if it's cloudy or freezing out. Sure, you sometimes don't use or reapply enough sunscreen or fail to rub it in properly. And you may ditch the hat and cover-up since they just don't match your new bikini. But you rely on that product—with its SPF touted on the label—to keep you and your family safe from the sun's harmful rays.

      Unfortunately, your sunscreen may not be protecting you as much as you think, according to a new report from Consumer Reports. The magazine tested and rated more than 60 sprays, lotions and sticks with sun protection factors (SPF) of 30 or higher. They found that 28 of them weren't the SPF they claimed to be on the label. And three had an SPF of less than 15. That's not enough sun protection! The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends choosing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

      The magazine says they've seen this pattern of results over several years. Of all the sunscreens they've tested over the past four years, half came in under the SPF on the label and one-third were under SPF 30.  Read more here.

      Connie Leak, Akina Reid and Marilyn Wiley at the CLUW summit booth which attracted considerable attention.

      At least 30 CLUW members came to Washington, DC to participate in the United State of Women Summit on June 14th, sponsored by The White House.  The Summit brought together 5,000 attendees to celebrate victories and acknowledge battles not yet won to achieve equality for women and girls domestically and internationally. The 12 hour program was filled with speakers including elected officials, labor leaders, celebrities and non-profit heads. The Summit included themes of economic empowerment, health and wellness, educational opportunity, violence against women, entrepreneurship and innovation, along with leadership and civic engagement.

      Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady served as program hosts.

      President Connie Leak commented that, “I am glad I, and our CLUW sisters, had the opportunity to hear the stories of so many advocates who are waging struggles for women and girls.  Their accomplishments are inspiring.”

      What follows are some highlights:

      Carol Gstalder of Consumer Insights North America, Nielsen reported public opinion which confirmed that 92% of Americans say that employers should take steps toward equality in the workplace. Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer who spoke later in the program would certainly agree. She explained, “Our idea is big. But it is not new. Imagine this: I’m trying to push a boulder up a hill. I’m leaning in with all my might. It’d be hard, if not impossible. But what if my friend Ariana helped? And then each of you helped, too? If all of us pushed that boulder, we could move mountains. That’s what a union is. Stronger collectively than we are apart. Working women have many boulders to move. Equal pay. Paid leave. Fair schedules. But if we stand together and negotiate together, we win together.” Later Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU reinforced this by stating that, “When we speak out together we can make change happen in this country.” She pointed out that the success in raising the minimum wage has caused 10,000,000 people in NY and CA to have more money in their pockets.  Read more here.

      Laura Wentz, Philly Chapter President, Darlene Smith, NJ State President and Diana Limon, CA State President at summit.

      A recent tragedy occurred, where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded when a sole gunman opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando FL. Pulse was purposefully targeted by the gunman who held anti-gay sentiments.

      The Coalition of Labor Union Women mourns with the families and friends of the deceased, and the survivors, in the wake of this senseless tragedy. We stand in solidarity with Orlando.

      At CLUW’s recent convention, members adopted an anti-gun violence resolution pledging to use our collective voices to support gun reform legislation that would help prevent heinous crimes such as this one, that has shaken the entire country, from reoccurring. CLUW President Connie Leak emphasized that, “Now is the time to redouble our efforts to fight for gun control so these lives will not have been lost in vain!” She went on to say, “Hate is never the motivating force for change. Progress cannot be deterred by monstrous acts of hate. It will not stop us. We stand committed to continue the fight for full equality and liberty and justice for all!”

      L-R: Dianna Limon, Allynson Harrell-Camarillo, Donchelle Soper, Camille Tyler, Jamie DeJournett -McDole. At microphone Belinda Malone and Tamie Dramer.

      On May 19, 2016, Sacramento CLUW was honored at the 17th Annual Salute to Labor Awards Dinner hosted by the Sacramento Central Labor Council AFL-CIO. With the theme, “Recognizing Excellence and Leadership in the Fight for Social and Economic Justice for Workers,” the California Capital (Sacramento) chapter was awarded the Building Our Future Award for engaging women to become part of a constituency group meant to better represent them in the workforce. CLUW CA State President Diana Limon (IBEW) presented the award to former chapter president and new CA State VP Belinda Malone (AFSCME) and California Capital Chapter representatives.

      At the 18th Biennial Convention in Sacramento, the California Capital charter was reissued on November 19th, 2015. Since then, with over 35 members, the chapter has been very active in the fight to raise the minimum wage on both the federal and state level, as well as participating in community events, such as 2016 Sacramento Earth Day. For more information and to get involved with the chapter, please visit their Facebook Page.

      Mentoring is a widely recognized tool for job, career and union development, particularly for women. Mentoring circles, as discussed at the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) education conference in April, offer a powerful and accessible variation on the traditional mentor/mentee model. As noted by CLUW President Connie Leak, it is no surprise that CLUW is an active advocate of both practices.

      This article, based on a workshop at the CLUW conference, focuses on what mentoring circles are and why CLUW is encouraging its chapters and union women's committees to initiate them — as well as how to create and sustain them.

      The Association for Women in Science defines mentoring circles as "a small group committed to meeting regularly and supporting one another with advice, encouragement and information" with a particular focus on "career growth and problem-solving...."

      As CLUW Pres. Leak observed, "Some of us have been lucky to have had a mentor…to have been taken under the wing of a more senior advisor/mentor — someone who taught us the ropes, the 'unspoken' rules, the unwritten politics of the union.” 

      "Unfortunately, for women and minorities, what I have just described is most often the exception rather than the rule, as most mentors are men and we know that men — when they look for mentors — most often seek out a mentee who looks like them or looked like them 25 years ago.  That excludes many women and minorities....”.  Read more here.

      CLUW members discuss mentoring circles as a way to educate and engage members and potential members.

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