Hi! This week I decided to look back on what has happened so far in this fellowship and what I had learned; more specifically, in the DCERP meetings. We have meetings twice a week and most weeks we had a guest speaker on anything from education programs and research to self care. I have to say, the one that stood out to me the most and was the most interesting was our very first speaker. While I forget his name, I know he has worked at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. His topic was the history and future trajectory of labor unions; that is, specifically in the Detroit area with the automotive companies.
I personally grew up in a union family, my dad now being the coordinator of Local 292’s apprenticeship school. Hearing how the unions came about, the UAW locals at least, was quite interesting to me. Hearing the different things that had to be overcome- threats of job security, violence, racism- was a reminder of why unions were formed to begin with and this tied into why or why not (I believe we do) need unions in the future and if unions are becoming irrelevant or not (I’m with the “not”s).
Since I grew up in Detroit and in the downriver area, I felt the topic pertained to my life and taught me things I didn’t know.