Anti-Discrimination Working Group Updates & Upcoming Actions
Our Anti-Discrimination Working Group (ADWG) has been meeting weekly to coordinate and strategize work to take action for Black lives and racial justice, building off of years of work we have done as a union to fight for structural changes for equity at UW and beyond. Below find a summary of some of that ongoing work! All members are welcome to participate and help build our collective power — just email email@example.com to join. For more information, also check out the Anti-Discrimination Working Group webpage.
Membership Education & Training on Anti-Racism
ADWG members have spent the past few weeks connecting with many department stewards and organizers about what their departments are doing around anti-racism. We are now developing materials for workshops for stewards and organizers, to give practical skills/materials on how to facilitate anti-racism and organizing conversations in their departments. Be on the lookout for more information about workshops soon!
Join the UAW 4121 Rapid Mobilization Network
UAW members have been taking to the streets nearly every day since late May, joining thousands to take action for Black lives and racial justice. Stemming from this, members of the ADWG have established a network of fellow UAW 4121 members for rapid mobilization to protests and other events in the Seattle/Bothell/Tacoma area, as a way to quickly coordinate about upcoming events we want to attend, and to connect with others on the ground at events to help build safer and more accessible participation. All UAW 4121 members are encouraged to join — please fill out this form and an organizer will follow up with you!
As a reminder to Black ASEs and Postdocs, fellow union members are starting a Black Caucus, and would love to have you — please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to join.
Defunding SPD & Investing in Community
In the past several weeks, UAW 4121 members have been participating in Budget Committee meetings to demand that City Council defund the Seattle Police Department and instead invest in community safety and health, including by investing in affordable housing for Black and Brown communities; ending the Navigation Team’s sweeps of homeless encampments; funding other critical social services for healthcare, jobs, and education, and more. This week saw some critical wins, but the fight is not finished!
Know Your Rights!
Through our hard-won contracts, UW Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and Postdocs have some of the strongest protections against discrimination and harassment in the country, including: Protections a wide range of forms of discrimiantion/harassment (including microaggressions, sexual harassment, hostile workplaces, and retaliation); robust complaint process for discrimination and harassment issues (including interim measures and union representation to support you during the course of a grievance); and more.
Through filing grievances and organizing, members have enforced these rights to successfully win structural changes in our departments and across UW. For more information about your rights and some stories of past wins, check out this page. Any ASE or Postdoc who has concerns or is experiencing issues with discrimination or harassment — no matter how small the issue may seem — please get in touch with the Contract Enforcement Working Group right away.
Upcoming Community & Coalition Actions
We are proud to be part of the Coalition to Decriminalize UW, a group of students, postdocs, staff, and faculty working in coalition to fight for racial justice at UW. Please join fellow 4121 members in checking out these upcoming events and actions that are open to the UW community!
Every day in August: UW BLM Art as Education & Resistance. Every day in August from 4-7pm, join UW Black Lives Matter at the George Washington statue on Seattle campus for an ongoing art installation. No artistic background needed to participate! You can sign up to help here. If you can, please also donate here to sustain the purchase of art supplies and equipment for BLM: https://www.gofundme.com/f/uwblm.
Now through September 6: PR2ISM Workshop Series on Equity & Professional Development in STEM. Join fellow 4121 members this month for a series of interactive workshops on equity-minded practices for STEM instruction and research activities hosted by PR2ISM. These workshops are designed for graduate students, postdocs, staff, and faculty, and include topics such as developing equity in the classroom, developing equity-focused grant proposals, crafting cover letters, supporting minoritized students during the pandemic, and more. Workshops run through September 6. For more information and to register for sessions, check out the PR2ISM website.
International solidarity working group
Last week, members from our workgroup met with 20+ incoming international students organizing around the recent Trump Executive Order. We have also been in touch with incoming students in other institutions to get a better sense of how different universities are responding to this order. Based on these meetings, ISW is currently drafting a Know Your Rights document for incoming students which will be disseminated to union stewards, department administrators, and incoming students.
Our group has put together this survey to incoming students to better understand their situation and most urgent concerns. This will inform our group’s organizing efforts as we respond to crisis of the recent Executive Order.
Our workgroup is seeking to get in touch with H1B holders affected by the June Trump Executive Proclamation in preparation for another potential injunction. Please reach out to us (email@example.com) if this applies to you, and/or you want to join our efforts to push back against the Trump order.
We are working on organizing an information session, focusing on the recent pivot of the student ban towards new international students as well as other attacks on international scholars.
Given the ongoing threats against international scholars, our workgroup has demanded the President’s Office to put together a Task Force with actual international scholar representation. We will continue pushing for this Task Force, as we believe the University should take proactive, not reactionary, measures to protect international scholars.
Our International Solidarity Work Group will continue meeting every Monday at 11am during Summer Quarter. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join the next meeting.
Monica Cortés Viharo