OUR HISTORY

The Mississippi 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.

While many 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.

The Center 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.