After the release of the UFCW Local 400 Anthem song and music video, the Labor Heritage Foundation invited Local 400 members who took part in the video to the annual Great Labor Arts Exchange (GLAE) last June, the annual event where labor and community activists celebrate the use of song, poetry, visual and performing arts in social justice movements. Local 400 members Milton Dews (below at right) from Giant #341, his wife Carleen Dews, from Giant #326, Satheria Duvernay (at left), from Giant #773, and her husband all attended this year’s three-day celebration, themed “Occupy Now!”
The group attended the “Conference on Creative Organizing,” a leadership-training program outlining new creative approaches to organizing. They developed new skills to build member engagement using songs, chants, skits, game shows, costume, theater, and other creative strategies, as well as ways to plan actions and combat fear.
“It was such a great weekend and it was my birthday!” said Duvernay. “I learned so much, but my favorite workshop was getting the opportunity to work with the college students studying labor because they were so eager to learn about the workplace and the struggles that we face in the workplace from those of us who have the work experience.”
D.C.-based hip-hop artist, Vance “Head Roc” Levy who, with the help of his music mentor, Dwayne Lee, wrote and produced the UFCW Local 400 Anthem, also attended GLAE, where he performed the anthem live and participated in workshops.
“Head-Roc recognized me from the video before I even got the chance to introduce myself,” said Milton (at right), adding that the event “was a great way to network with labor and community allies.”