Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rebuild the American Dream

Forty-eight years after the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, America has made significant cultural progress. But Dr. King's ultimate dream of economic justice has been deferred. 

This Friday at 9 a.m., tune in to our national symposium on jobs, justice and the American Dream. RSVP now: [ ].

At our symposium, noted civil rights activists and workers' advocates will take part in two panels, answering questions asked by moderators Bob Herbert and María Elena Salinas and submitted by AFL-CIO activists around the country. 

The first panel, Jobs and the American Dream, moderated by Demos distinguished senior fellow Bob Herbert, will detail the current economic crisis and the need for a comprehensive jobs agenda. Panelists include Rep. John Lewis, Harvard Sociology Prof. Bruce Western, Jobs with Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta, unemployed painter Davon Lomax and music teacher Kathleen Hofman.

The second panel, Justice and the American Dream, moderated by Noticiero Univision co-anchor María Elena Salinas, will explore the contrast between Dr. King's vision of a just America and the current challenges to economic and social justice. Panelists are Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and University of Pennsylvania professor of History, Wisconsin firefighter Mahlon Mitchell, DREAM Act activist Isabel Castillo, AFL-CIO Young Workers Coordinator Kurston Cook and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey.

Please join us for the live webcast Friday starting at 9 a.m. RSVP now: [ ].

By key economic and political measures, the American Dream--the ability to get jobs, justice and fairness--is fading. The hopes and dreams of an entire generation are at risk.

For many workers, jobs just aren't there. For these workers, we're not in a recession--we're in a depression. People of color--especially black men--young people, construction workers and too many others are desperate for work. But profitable companies just aren't creating jobs, and governments are cutting them. 

Justice is under attack. Collective bargaining rights are being stolen. And so is the right to vote. Many states are even trying to bring back the poll tax by disguising it as a photo ID requirement. Twenty-five percent of African Americans across the country don't have a government-issued photo ID. And it takes money to get one.

And the American dream is slipping out of reach. Economic inequality in America is shameful--and growing.

Please tune in. Click here to RSVP, and we'll send you a reminder and the link to watch shortly beforehand: [ ].

The American Dream and Dr. King's dream are in peril today. Please tune in at 9 a.m. Eastern Time Friday. RSVP to watch Friday's symposium now: [ ] and we'll send you a reminder.

In Solidarity,

Arlene Holt Baker
Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO


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