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Common Sense Economics: Race and the Economy Trainings

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The labor movement strives for greater solidarity among workers. As such, we need to understand what divides us, so we can unite more effectively. This training helps participants discern how systemic racism operates as an economic tool of neoliberalism. We look at recent data as well as key events in our country’s history to learn more about how racism contributes to the racial wealth gap. In the context of a local campaign, we also spend time building skills to collectively advocate for policy changes that improve economic conditions for people of color. 

Plan a Training for Your Union, Area Labor Federation or Central Labor Council

Facilitators are available around the state to provide in-person trainings. Contact Valone Brown Jr., Social Justice Engagement Coordinator, at [email protected] or 518-763-2808 to schedule a training.


  • Share with others their experience with the economy and how the economy is not working for communities of color.
  • Discern how systemic racism operates as an economic tool to divide working people.
  • Describe the impact of neoliberal political choices on working people.
  • Explain how working people can change the rules of the economy by acting together (voting, volunteering, organizing and activism).
  • Empower family, friends and co-workers with a specific message to join together to change the rules to create an economy that works for everyone.

Training Requirements

Group Size:

  • Ideal minimum: 10 participants per session
  • Ideal maximum: 30 participants per session

Access the Racial Equity & Policy Toolkit

The New York State AFL-CIO Racial Equity & Policy Toolkit serves as a guide for building power and influence for all working people and integrating racial equity into all that we do. By examining our policies and programs to ensure they promote and advance racial equity, our unions, workplaces and communities will be transformed for the betterment of all people.

This toolkit is made possible by the engagement and support of the New York State AFL-CIO’s affiliated unions and their commitment to racial, social, and economic justice. To request hard copies of this toolkit, labor councils and constituency groups may contact Valone Brown Jr., Social Justice Engagement Coordinator, at [email protected] or 518-763-2808.

Download the Toolkit