Workers’ Center for Human
Rights was founded in 1996 in Oxford, MS, by Jaribu Hill, human
rights activist and
attorney, to provide education, advocacy and organizing support
for low-wage workers and other victims of civil and human rights
violations in the workplace. As an advocacy organization that links
legal strategies with organizing strategies, the Center represents
an alternative to traditional labor organizations.
organizations focus primarily on the issue of decent wages, the
Center looks at various ways workers
are abused in the
workplace. The organizing sessions which offer trainings and assistance
to workers in developing strategies for change, is wholly worker
centered. Workers engage in dialogue, participate in public speak-outs
and organize in their workplaces for human dignity and a living
wage. The Center’s work focuses on two primary campaign areas: "Terror
on the Plant Floor" which assists workers in their fight against
hate crimes in the workplace (these crimes are on the rise, e.g.
nooses hanging, Klan terror and racists graffiti on bathroom walls)
and "Dying to Make a Living" which focuses on the fight
for environmental justice in the workplace and provides workers
with information about chemical poisons and toxic substances they
are exposed to in the workplace. The campaign assists workers in
making the important connection between workplace pollution and
neighborhood pollution and poisoning.
is a membership organization which has a membership of over 600
workers and supporters. As a human rights organization,
it takes its mission beyond national borders and networks with
organizations and individuals in other parts of the world. For
example, the Center took a delegation to the World Conference Against
Racism in Durban, South Africa.