That is the question that deserves an honest, thoughtful answer. Union members benefit from universal empowerment under the SEIU umbrella. Within AFRAM, caucus members can focus on specifics and concerns which are directly related to their ethos. History has shown that there once was a time when African Americans weren’t treated as fairly and justly within the union structure and hierarchy. Thus, the formation of AFRAM was instituted (and, I must add, with opposition) and the birth of the caucus was established. Whereas, times have changed, and, because of AFRAM, many caucuses have been introduced within SEIU, the value of what caucuses bring to the table is irrefutable and undoubtedly substantial. AFRAM led the way for every caucus established in SEIU today!
The AFRAM membership pledges to always pay homage to those who came before us and paved the way for our people. We could not be where we are without embracing who we are. We thank the founders and the leaders who, with resounding fortitude, kept our voices in critical and necessary conversations over decades. Present day, our work continues to be cut out for us. We understand that although some struggles vary from year to year, deeply rooted biases still exist and the presumption that all is well IS A LIE. That is one of the reasons why AFRAM is for Americans of color, but not limited to Americans of color. If we wish to be effective, we cannot live in our silos alone. That’s not how the world operates. AFRAM is here to teach EVERYONE the contributions of African Americans and our rich history in our country…and our union. We are also here to continue the legacy and the importance of being able to address the issues of our union members and the African American culture. Our union is the platform for AFRAM to educate, empower, engage and elevate our members.
So, why join AFRAM? We believe the answer is because you want to be a part of a group of folks who take our work and the mission of our union membership to heart. We see a problem and collectively, we can seek to find resolutions which can disentangle, decipher, and get to the bottom of an issue. AFRAM members can find pride in knowing that every decision outcome set forth through the Caucus, is a joint effort engaging each member.
AFRAM is not here to save the world. We are not here to engage in every fight, nor do we have an answer to every issue. However, we can look at the landscape and find those areas where we will have the greatest impact, one challenge at a time. AFRAM is an enigma of sorts. We don’t strive to have hundreds of members just to show the numbers. That’s not what we are about. We want real members who are pro-active, real thinkers, real activists, and real partners who understand what’s needed to break down barriers, obstacles, and difficult situations. The AFRAM future depends on us.
Talk is cheap. Doing is better. AFRAM members know that doing takes energy and, at times, can be sacrificial. What we do today, will carry on into tomorrow. These are just a few of the reasons why SEIU members should join the African American caucus called AFRAM for short. If you are that person, we invite you to come and join us! Think of our $20 annual membership as planting more seeds in the garden from which we can continue to harvest our incredible work from the roots of our majestic African American history.
ASHÉ and AMEN