Over 200 advocates gathered in streets of Detroit to demand justice for care workers, economy that works for all
Detroit joined nationwide call for prioritization of care workforce as racial, gender justice imperative
Deroit, MI – As part of a nationwide day of action, care workers, care consumers, advocates and partners gathered at Historic King Solomon Church to show support for a bold investment in the nation’s home care workforce as a matter of racial and gender justice. The day kicked off with a speaker program, where participants brandished signs that read “Care, Jobs, Justice” and culminated in a block party with a live DJ and food strucks for 3 hours in celebration of the contributions of care workers and solidarity with their demands.
Detroit was one of 24 cities nationwide to take to the streets demanding good union, living-wage jobs and a down payment to expand access across the care system. Local leaders including Senator Debbie Dingell, Detroit City Council Candidate Coleman Young II, Detroit City Council Candidate Fred Durhal III, and City of Detroit City Council Candidate Janet Ayers, voiced support for President Biden’s care plan, which would create a million new care jobs, lift up essential care workers, and address skyrocketing needs for care.
“The Biden care plan and $400 Billion investment in care is a major step towards transforming the care industry and our whole economy to make sure every worker has the dignity, respect, protection and pay that we deserve and families can get the care they need.” Lisa Elliot, CNA at Regency at St. Clair Shores.
As the House and Senate both move historic legislation on home care and debate infrastructure and reconciliation packages to fuel America’s economic recovery, Detroit workers and advocates raised their voices in a day of action to make it clear that our nation cannot truly recover without investing in care. Workers shared their experiences on the front lines during a deadly pandemic, when they risked their lives to come to work every day and care for their clients, making poverty wages without benefits.
Black, Latina, Asian, and immigrant women represent the majority of the nation’s home care workers. Care workers in Michigan, a majority of whom are black women, emphasized the racial and gender justice impact of the care plan, which would function as the first-ever targeted jobs program for a majority-women-of-color workforce.
“The work of Black women, especially as caregivers, has been undervalued for too long. That is exactly why I kneeled with my fellow nursing home workers last year during the Strike for Black Lives. I wanted to let my coworkers and other Black women know we have a voice, that we are here, and our opinion matters and. It doesn’t matter our job description. Our voice matters, and we can use it to demand change in our industry. We can make this a country of justice and dignity for all,” said Elliot.