As a new communications intern with the Cincinnati Labor Council and Interfaith Worker Center, I have been thrown right into deciphering and understanding the labor movement. Not only have I gained some knowledge and started to understand labor’s background, but I’ve realized I have so much more to learn about the history, politics, and social aspects that have shaped the AFL-CIO.

I am a Communications and Public Relations student at Xavier University with minors in Gender and Diversity Studies and Peace and Justice Studies. My intent is to use my communications education to work for and with those that have traditionally been marginalized in society, which is why I have chosen my specific minors. As I enter my last year of undergrad I have started to reflect on my time in college, where I want to go next, and how I have been shaped by my upbringing and work experiences.

I was not raised with any awareness as to what unions were and what they provided for the U.S. As a result, I have come into the AFL-CIO with a blank slate, an open mind, and a heart that holds a passion for social justice. My interest in justice was sparked when I came to Xavier and saw the difference I had the potential to make in the community around me. My interest is now being stretched and challenged by this internship in a way that I am very grateful of.

I have done a fair amount of research on unions and put pieces of the puzzle together as I witness the movement first hand. Despite the hours of research I have sifted through, I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to the complexity of unions, labor, and the politics that surround them. Intrigued by the complexity, I decided that there was far too much to delve into with just one or two posts.

Politics, human rights, immigration, gender and diversity, and history all play major roles in the way we understand the workforce in America today. I am going to dive deeper into each of these topics, which will include segments written about Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Vietnam War, legislation that has shaped the modern day workforce, and the polarized divide that political parties are facing right now.

While doing this, I am going to provide my perspective as a young woman readying herself to enter the workforce. Though I am still unsure of what path I want to carve for myself, I do know that working at the Labor Council and Worker Center has fueled the fire burning in me to help, speak, and stand for and with others. I want to focus on the future, not only my future, but the shared tomorrow that is at stake if we do not critically look back on the past to learn from the successes and mistakes on all sides. I hope to provide a fresh perspective to past and present issues as well as an outlook for the future of unions.