Fascism and white nationalism threaten the well-being of our community. TRU co-sponsored a speak out at Baltimore’s Penn Station against the rise of fascism and white nationalism, and some graduate workers took to the streets of D.C. in protest. The JHU News Letter covered the event.
Teachers and Researchers United (TRU) marked International Women’s Day with the announcement of a new subcommittee, new organizing goals, and new demands, while some of our members participated in a local march honoring working class women. The JHU News Letter covered the events of the march.
First, TRU announced the work of its recently established Gender Equity Subcommittee. Since 2014, TRU has been speaking to graduate students about working conditions, revealing a host of issues relating to gender, from sexual harassment and high attrition rates to lack of healthcare and services. TRU’s gender equity organizing seeks to address these problems and fight for justice and fair treatment within our workplace, as well as ensuring that gender equity guides the principles and workings of our own organization.
In conjunction with TRU’s ongoing healthcare campaign, the Subcommittee took International Women’s Day as an opportunity to draw attention to one glaring issue: childcare. While other universities offer support to parents, at Johns Hopkins graduate workers pay thousands out of pocket for child care expenses. Flyers posted around campus drew attention to this disparity and demanded that the university administration take steps to offer real support to graduate parents.
In addition to TRU’s organizing, a group of TRU members joined in the Baltimore International Working Women’s Day March. The march, which was sponsored by a number of undergraduate organizations and activist groups, rallied in front of the Eisenhower Library. There, various speakers took up a number of issues– from dealing with anti-Semitism and racism in the United States, to struggles of women in Palestine, Syria, and elsewhere in the global south facing the brunt of climate change, exploitation, and military violence – highlighting the multitude of experiences and struggles that define International Women’s Day.
From the university, marchers proceeded to the People’s Park, and shouted chants supporting Black and Trans lives, calling on the US to condemn fascism and welcome immigrants, and an end to police violence.
At the park, additional speakers focused on issues that intersect with the aims of TRU’s gender equity organizing. First, from Maryland where the lack of a just minimum wage forces many women to work multiple jobs to support their children, to the Philippines where the legacy of US military occupation force women to work overseas to support families back home, gender relations are labor relations. Second, that gender equity is not limited to cis women, but must aim for a much more expansive and complex idea of justice and liberation.
(Photo credit Valeria Villanueva)
Angered by the tax bill’s threats to higher education and frustrated by the university’s inadequate responses, graduate students at Johns Hopkins had to act. In addition to endorsing and circulating the Graduate Representative Organization’s (GRO) petition against the tax bill, TRU organized a speak-out for December 7. More than 75 people turned out to listen as members of TRU, as well as a member of the undergraduate organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), condemned the bill’s potential effects on graduate students’ ability to continue working in the university and its ramifications for higher education as a whole. Read our campaign page in the link below for full details. The JHU News Letter covered the event and interviewed some members of TRU.
The JHU News Letter did a write up about our march to Garland Hall demand University healthcare reform. Over 50 of our members banded together to ask President Daniels to hold administrators accountable. Read the newsletter article in the link below for full details.
TRU stands in solidarity with the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC) in advocating for job security and benefits for University security guards and dining workers. We also support university workers in their struggle for better wages and a “live near your work” program. Read more by clicking on the article in the link below.