February 19, 2021


What Does Black History Month Mean to You?

As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s important to remember how we got here. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.


Mary Ellen Pleasant
Born into slavery, she became a Gold Rush-era millionaire and a powerful abolitionist

When the 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry ended with the hanging of the abolitionist John Brown, a note found in his pocket read, “The ax is laid at the foot of the tree. When the first blow is struck, there will be more money to help.”

While the conventional wisdom at the time was that a wealthy Northerner provided the means to incite a slave uprising, the truth is that the note, and the funding, came from a wealthy black woman, Mary Ellen Pleasant.


Local 1000’s Lynn McDaniel is Leading the Fight for RNs at Pelican Bay State Prison

As an RN at Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) in Crescent City, California, and a member of SEIU Local 1000, Lynn McDaniel’s work as a health care professional during the COVID pandemic would be difficult even under the best of circumstances. Unfortunately, her situation, like that of all the healthcare providers at PBSP, has only gotten worse due to the current prison policies.


Member Leader Francina Stevenson
Building stronger workplaces and more inclusive communities

In 2016, you might not have noticed Francina Stevenson. “Back then, I was always one of the people standing in the corner, never raising my hand,” she says. Five years later, things have taken a significant change, as Francina has become an active member leader in Local 1000 as well as her community.

The transformation began when she signed up to be a job steward and take part in Local 1000s Leadership Apprentice Program for Stewards (LAPS). It was there that she learned to “advance without fear” and to make a difference for her fellow members.


Know Your History
Did You Know that inoculation was introduced to America by a slave?

Our heritage and our history are inextricably intertwined, and dismissing the former delegitimizes the latter. History is complicated and confounding, but we must dig deep to find the truth, abolish misinformation and lies, and find the soul of our nation.

As a member led union, we’re doing our best to lead this fight by sharing stories like the following.