On September 14 and 15, 2015, the Black Worker Initiative of the Institute for Policy Studies held a two-day convening on race and organizing at the historic Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, which has a decades-long tradition of progressive stands on social issues. The Black Workers Matter: Organize the South convening focused on fresh, new strategies for supporting organizing as a means of lifting up black workers in this region, known for its high levels of poverty, low wages, and low unionization rates.
The two-day convening featured five interactive panels that drew on the perspectives of organizers, activists, community leaders, and scholars. Black Workers Matter also featured keynote speakers Rev. Dr. William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP; Cecil Roberts, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) President; and Robert Korstad, Professor of Public Policy and History at Duke University.