Who We Are
The Bay Area Black Worker Center (BABWC) is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Black community by organizing around issues affecting the Black community's access to quality jobs and economic justice and dignity.
In 2013, the BABWC was started by a group of Black unionist who wanted to fight for the rights of Black workers here in the Bay Area as part of growing network of Black Worker Centers from around the country.
- We have spoken to over 500 Black residents in the Bay Area about their challenges finding and keeping quality jobs through various outreach efforts and listening sessions
- A majority of the Black folks we reached through out outreach efforts said that being Black and having a criminal record are their biggest barriers to finding and keeping a good job
- In June 2016, we won a campaign that will result in 1400 quality jobs for Alameda County residents who have criminal records as a part of the Justice Reinvestment Coalition. The county program is called the Re-Entry Hiring Program of Alameda County
- As a membership-based organization we continue to bring in new members and to develop new leaders among Black workers who are not only long-time Black unionist but who are also formerly incarcerated, young, and unemployed
- Over the past couple of years we have hosted interns to help train and develop the new generation of young Black organizers as a part of the Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) at the Center for Third World Organizing
- In 2017 we will continue to fight to ensure the county implements the Re-Entry Hiring Program we fought for and won in 2016
- We are currently reaching out to Black Bay Area residents working in Oakland to learn more about their experiences with the recent increase in the Oakland minimum wage
The Justice Reinvestment Coalition
We work in coalition with around 15 organizations under the Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County to break down barriers created by mass incarceration of poor communities and communities of color.
Through our outreach in Black communities, we have learned that around 80 percent of Black people we spoke to in Oakland over the past two to three years told us that either themselves or a family member had been incarcerated. They expressed that having a criminal record was one of the biggest reasons why it is difficult to find and keep a quality job.
Due to legislative advances like AB109, SB 678, and Proposition 47, Alameda County’s criminal justice system has decreased over the past five years. Yet research shows that without gainful employment, formerly incarcerated people are likely to reenter the system. People who have convictions or even arrests without conviction face enormous barriers to employment.
Join us to ensure the Re-Entry Hiring Program of Alameda County will be implemented without being watered down. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in June 2016 to create a program that will hire formerly incarcerated residents throughout the county in 1,400 quality jobs.
The initiative calls for a best-practice model to provide job coaches/mentors, court advocates, and support to take the civil service exam for county jobs. Building from successful employment models like the Jobs Now! program in San Francisco and Project Search in Alameda County, the Re-Entry Hiring Program is the first of its kind in the nation focused on the affirmative hiring of people who struggle to find quality employment due because of having a record.
To find out more about upcoming events. Contact us be email by clicking here. Or call us and leave a voice message at 510.401.3931
Like us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/BayAreaBWC/
Follow us on Twitter - @bayareabwc