Published: January 11, 2024

As we stand on the precipice of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it is not merely a moment to celebrate history but an occasion to delve into the enduring principles that Dr. King championed – equality, justice, and unity. Dr. King’s legacy serves as a timeless guidepost, urging us to reflect on our collective duty to uphold these values.

“First, I must confess that over the past few years, I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In conjunction with MLK Day, let us recognize the profound significance of this moment within our union. We bravely made the commitment to be an anti-racist union. We must now imagine what that work looks like through the utilization of all the vast resources of our union. One such resource is our caucuses.  They go beyond being entities; they are the lifeblood of our commitment to representation and inclusion. 

In the spirit of MLK Day, caucuses play a pivotal role in fostering a more inclusive and representative organization, providing a platform for underrepresented groups to voice their concerns.

Aligned with Dr. King’s legacy, caucuses stand as advocates for policies addressing specific challenges faced by their members, contributing to the ongoing pursuit of justice and fairness within our union. Dr. King’s call for unity finds expression in caucuses, creating spaces for genuine dialogue and shared experiences that build bridges within our union community. In the spirit of Dr. King’s call for empowerment, caucuses become the backbone, offering support networks, fostering mentorship opportunities, and creating an environment where every member feels valued and heard.

Both MLK Day and caucuses serve as platforms for education, broadening our understanding of civil rights and fostering empathy and awareness about the unique challenges faced by specific groups. Dr. King’s dream of a society judged by character finds resonance in caucuses contributing to strategic planning within our union, ensuring policies align with the goal of creating an equitable workplace for all.

As we celebrate MLK Day and recognize the essential role of caucuses, we extend a heartfelt invitation for you to become an active participant in these transformative spaces.

  • Affinity groups are excellent places to connect with folks with similar lived experiences. Learn more about our caucuses here.
  • The Civil and Human Rights Committee (CHRC)  is at the center of the equity work being fostered through our caucuses collectively and is a place to learn more about the steps SEIU 503 is taking to become a more anti-racist union.
  • Join us as we celebrate the rich diversity of BIPOC heritage history and culture at our Black History Month event One Drop of African Blood, Our Ancestry and Proud of It, February 3rd, 1 – 6 pm at the Portland SEIU 503 office.
  • Join us for the upcoming Black History Month Film Forum event with Portland Rising and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) on leap year day February 29th at our Portland SEIU 503 Office from 6 to 8 pm.

Your voice matters, and your presence in our caucuses will enrich the diversity of perspectives that make our union strong.

Join us in creating workplaces that reflect the principles of justice, equity, and respect for all. Let your voice be heard, and together, we can contribute to the realization of Dr. King’s dream.

In unity and solidarity,

SEIU 503 AFRAM Caucus