Skip to main content

#WalkoutWednesday: 2 Deadly Pandemics


Discussing how workers are rising up to fight both COVID-19 and systemic racism

Walk Out Wednesday 2020 06 10

Watch SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and frontline workers from around the country as they talk about how essential workers are rising up to fight both COVID-19 and systemic racism, two connected fights.

Hear from Lola West, a chaplain at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, CO and an SEIU Local 1876 member, who sees up close the disparities people of color face in accessing healthcare and mental health services. 

Listen to Carmen Roberts, a home care worker from Pasadena, CA and an SEIU Local 2015 member, who maintains great hope even as she and her co-workers continue to demand basic respect and decent working standards for a home care profession largely held by people of color and mired in a history of disregard.

Watch what Denita Jones says about today's racial justice protests and how they differ from those of the past—how an underlying answer is for people to step out of their comfort zones and see their neighbor's realities. Denita works at a hospital payments call-in center in Dallas, still going into the office and thus worrying about how to keep herself, with asthma, and her five children, including two with asthma, safe from coronavirus.

Hear from Tina Watson, who works at a Wendy's in Santee, South Carolina, making $8/hour and only just recently wearing masks on account of a co-worker who walked off the job due to the wealthy corporation's lack of PPE. Hear her story of her 11-year-old black son who was patted down and threatened by a police officer, just this past June 1st, because he picked up a toy gun. 

And finally, hear from Cynthia Dixon-Gross, who works with the Minneapolis School District Food Service and is an SEIU Local 284 member, who, with her community, is celebrating the school district's vote to finally remove police presence in Minneapolis schools.