(Washington, DC, June 13, 2016) – Today the AFL-CIO’s annual Union Summer program kicks off in Jackson, Miss., marking the 20th anniversary of the one-of-a-kind internship program that places young activists on various organizing campaigns.
Juan Carlos Pulido, a California native and senior at California State University said that the primary reason why he’s participating is to learn valuable skills to effect change in his community. “There are a lot of challenges working people face—from questionable working conditions to disrespectful management—and I think there is a lot of room for growth because too many people don’t know their rights,” he added.
Maya Simpson, a student a Jackson State University said, “I’ve witnessed my mom’s struggle firsthand and I want to be a part of the solution. I want to be able to help make working people’s lives better.”
The cohort of 39 Summeristas, students from 25 different colleges and universities, will be spread across five major cities in the South, including Atlanta, Ga., Anniston, Ala., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Jackson, Miss. and Houston, Texas. The interns are currently participating in a week-long intensive training before heading to their respective campaigns. For nine weeks Summeristas will work to organize state employees, food service employees, workers at auto manufacturing plants and teachers.
Union Summer internships are designed to introduce young activists to the labor movement through union organizing campaigns that help working people gain a voice at work and in their communities.
For more information on union summer, click here.