USW International President Leo W. Gerard and Vice President Fred Redmond teamed up in a Steelworker blog celebrating Black History Month. The leaders recall the historic efforts of four North Carolina college freshmen known as the Greensboro Four, who 50 years ago helped turn the civil rights movement into a mass movement for change.
Gerard and Redmond write that as we celebrate that important milestone, we should also pay tribute to the heroes of yesterday by joining with the youth of today to lead a current day revolution for manufacturing, which truly is the great equalizer. They write, in part:
The "Greensboro Four," as they were known, began a wave of nonviolent protests against segregation across America. The sit-ins came just as the demand for Civil Rights grew into a mass movement, one that changed our nation forever.
The involvement of young people in that movement - along with religious, labor and other community leaders - cannot be underestimated. Young people stood together to fight for a better future. They forced America to change for the better, to change for them.
Five decades later, it's time for America's youth to lead another revolution, one that forces the nation to solve the critical civil rights challenge of this time: good jobs to enable all America to thrive into the next century. Good jobs provide health insurance. Good jobs create strong communities. Good jobs support a high quality educational system for all children.