The Labor Movement and Posters: Promoting Human Rights, Part 2

This is the last post in a series of blogs by the Labor Collections Team highlighting the amazing posters on display in the Hornbake Library Gallery exhibit, “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America.” These posters encompass a wide range of human rights issues supported by the labor movement. There are nine different human rights issues that are covered in the exhibit. In Part 1 of this series, we showcased the posters in the African-American Rights, Women’s Rights, the Eight-Hour Day, and A Living Wage sections of the exhibit. This post will explore the posters in the Religious Freedom, International Workers, the Environment, and LGBTQ Rights sections, and several other posters included in the exhibit from the AFL-CIO collections.

Religious Freedom:

FabricofOurLives

This poster of a mosaic mural at the Bernard Horwich Community Center in Chicago, IL was produced by the Jewish Labor Committee. The Committee was founded in the 1930s to unite the labor movement and the American Jewish community in opposition to the rise of fascism. AFL-CIO Posters, Broadsides, and Art Collection.

 

 

 

 

International Workers:

Apartheid

An anti-apartheid poster advocating the campaign for corporations in the United States to boycott supplies coming in from South Africa until the racist regime was ended. This campaign was strongly supported by the labor movement and played a significant role in ending the apartheid regime in the 1990s. Check out the Labor Collections post, “The Labor Movement and Film, Part 1: ‘For the Union Makes Us Strong’” to learn more! AFL-CIO Posters, Broadsides, and Art Collection.

 

 

 

labor-062394-0001

This AFL-CIO poster was created in support for the independent Polish union, Solidarnosc. This union led a very successful movement for democracy in the 1980s ending the authoritarian Polish regime! Check out the Labor Collections post, “The Labor Movement and Film, Part 2: ‘For the Union Makes Us Strong’” to learn more! AFL-CIO Posters, Broadsides, and Art Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

The Environment:

labor and environment poster

A poster created by the Labor Network for Sustainability to promote the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC, 2017. This march was to join people all over the country to demand action on climate, jobs, and justice. Joseph B. Uehlein Papers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LGBTQ Rights:

Labor_Module10_LGBTQ_PrideAtWork_Poster

A poster created by Ricardo Lewis Morales for the Pride at Work national convention in 2006. Pride at Work was founded in the 1990s to mobilize union support for a broad range of LGBTQ rights. If you would like to learn more about how the labor movement has fought for LGBTQ rights, check out our blog “Pride in the Labor Movement”! Pride at Work Records.

 

 

 

 

 

Labor_Module10_LGBTQ_EqualityZone_Poster An Equality Zone Project poster promoting a place “where human rights are respected” and where the LGBTQ community will be “welcome and supported.” Pride at Work Records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_3098.jpg

 

A Pride at Work Convention poster which was held in Orlando, FL, in 2015. If you would like to learn more about the Pride at Work records we have, check out our blog “Pride at Work records at UMD”! Pride at Work Records.

 

 

 

 

Extra Posters from the AFL-CIO Collections:

SolidarityDayPoster

A poster promoting the Solidarity Day march on September 19, 1981, where 500,000 unionists rallied in Washington, DC to fight for jobs, justice, and social progress. Check out the Labor Collections post, “The Labor Movement and Film, Part 1: ‘For the Union Makes Us Strong’” to learn more!

 

 

 

 

 

May Day

“International Workers Day, Working People United Across Borders, We Rise!,” AFL-CIO poster promoting International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, in 2017. The English version of this poster is also featured in a mini-exhibit, “Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living: May Day Becomes International Workers’ Day” in the Hornbake Library’s Maryland Room thorough the end of June, 2018! AFL-CIO Posters, Broadsides, and Art Collection.

 

 

 

 

ABetterAmerica_poster

A poster created by the AFL-CIO to showcase their goals to make America a better place for all. AFL-CIO Posters, Broadsides, and Art Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let us know which poster is your favorite!

If you would like to know more about how the labor movement used posters to promote change, check out the Labor Collection’s exhibit or email us at askhornbake@umd.edu!


Erin Berry is a Graduate Assistant for the Labor History Collection at University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives. She is pursuing a Masters of Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archives and Digital Curation.

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