Wednesday marked 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr on April 4, 1968, at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
About 30 members of the SEIU Local 1000 labor union and the California Faculty Association (CFA) gathered in front of the King statue in the Fresno State Peace Garden to inform about an event happening Wednesday at 5:30pm in the Fresno State Residence Dining Hall.
Dr. Matthew Jendian, a professor of Sociology at Fresno State, said the event will be focused on reviving King’s call for a “Poor People’s Campaign,” a national call to tackle economic injustice; a movement he began a month before his death.
Jendian introduced Lisa Weston, vice president of the Fresno CFA, and Yvonne Walker, President of SEIU Local 1000.
Walker is the keynote speaker for “Undoing Injustice, Doing Justice: A Third Reconstruction in the context of Janus v. AFSCME.”
Janus v. AFSCME is a case currently being heard in the US Supreme Court regarding mandatory labor union fees for non-union employees. Walker said she will discuss the importance of this case and how it relates to King’s call for a “revolution of values”in America.
“This is a movement not a moment,” Walker said. “It’s one thing to honor somebody and it’s an entirely different thing to honor them through the work that we do.”
Walker, a former marine and SEIU Local 1000’s first African-American female president, has dedicated more than 20 years to protecting the rights of low-wage workers in America and fight for social and economic justice – fight that Walker says is still extremely relevant today.