You can learn anything from any opportunity that comes your way in life. Everyday that I come to the Cincinnati Labor Council and Interfaith Workers Center that’s exactly what I do, learn. As a new communications intern alongside Kate George, I’ve been able to step out of my comfort zone and engulf myself into the world of Labor and begin to understand the history of it, why it matters, and what it is going to take to keep laborers and unions strong and going on for years to come. I couldn’t name a better place to start than where I am right now.

I am a Communications major at Xavier University with a focus in Broadcast Journalism. My goal with my studies is to bring certain topics and stories from behind the shadows and into the light and labor would surely be something to do that with. Although this internship is my first real leap into the world of unions, and labors I am no stranger to the topic at all.

My mother works at a manufacturing company where she is an active member of the Local 390 union. I’ve heard countless stories first hand from her about how important it is that employees know their rights when it comes to their work, and how the union plays a big part in that. Now more than ever I understand exactly what she means by this and my interest has been sparked. As I’ve been doing research about the history of labor and unions and where we are now in the present, more than ever do people need to be educated on the importance of not only joining the unions, but being aware of what the union is doing for working people such as us millennials, everyday. I’ve recently finished up my first year of Undergrad and as I prepare to move forward in my education and in my life I want to incorporate everything I’ve been learning here into all of my future endeavors and strive to make a difference that will have a lasting impact.

One thing that I am a huge advocate for is the use of social media. Maybe it’s because of how simple it is to use, or maybe it is because it’s been around me for most of my life. Either way it its a great tool to spread the word about anything you are passionate about and want others to know about as well. Here at the CLC and CIWC we’ve been encouraged to dive into projects head first and use the tools around us, such as social media, to help bring awareness about issues we care about and connect others and that is what I love the most.

Coming into the AFL-CIO I didn’t know what to expect, but I am very grateful for how open they’ve allowed us to be with the labor movement. They’ve allowed us to formulate our own ideas and talk about what really matters and stands out to us and its just been a great environment to learn and grow in. In a few years I’ll be graduating from college and preparing to officially enter the workforce and I hope that it is a fair and equal opportunity environment. The workforce is changing everyday and we have the power to make sure that it is changing for the better for future generations to come.

 Although I am not completely sure about everything I want to do in life, I know that working here has opened my eyes and has truly made me want to stand together in solidarity with everyone. I can really say that this internship has made me whole-heartedly want to continue to strive to have the best interest for everyone at heart. I especially want to focus on making a better tomorrow for the many young African American citizens who want to take a shot at changing the world and brightening the future for themselves and for our neighbors. We must work together to move forward and right the wrongs of the past and continue to educate everyone on these social justice topics because separate we cant accomplish much but together we can conquer all.

* Markeshia Jackson, Xavier Communications Intern.