Save the Date: MARCH 6 – MARCH 7, 2015

“WORK IN THE SOUTH: Dixie Cotton, American Steel, and a Hurricane Named Katrina, the Reinvention of Bondage”

The Workplace Justice Project (WJP), in cooperation with the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center and the Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law (JPIL), is presenting a conference on Low-Wage Workers in the South, March 6-7, 2015 on the campus of Loyola College of Law in uptown New Orleans. Join us to address the challenges faced by low-wage workers in the South, and those who advocate and organize with them.

Keynote speaker Douglas Blackmon, author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to WWII, will set the historical context for the conference as to why workers in the South are more vulnerable than workers in other regions. Southern states have lower densities of unionized workers, provide lower (or no) minimum wage standards, and have resisted regulations on employers. It is not coincidental that the most vulnerable workers in the southern states are predominantly African-American or from immigrant communities, nor that, among those low-wage workers who are not people of color, there is less affinity and affiliation by class than by race, a situation exploited by the power structure.

Day one of the conference will look at mapping the current landscape: who are the workers and what factors make them vulnerable, followed by discussions as to solutions to the most significant challenges that keep these workers in low-wage, exploitative conditions. The second day will be a more hands-on look at how to make systemic changes in the region, beginning with a power analysis and looking at multiple strategies for solutions, including litigation, the usefulness of workers’ centers, and the need for policy changes.


For RFP information go here.

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