Progressive Maryland Launches The 7/10 Black Workers Center to Empower Lower-Income Black Communities and Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Prince George’s County, MD – Progressive Maryland is proud to announce the launch of the groundbreaking 7/10 Black Workers Center. This unique initiative aims to organize and uplift Black workers, with a focus on formerly incarcerated people. The Center will advocate for equitable local economic development policies that prioritize the needs of working-class people over wealthy developers and exploitative corporations.

The 7/10 Black Workers Center will employ an integrated organizing approach that examines  racial oppression and class disparities, while mobilizing justice impacted people as crucial workers that are typically excluded from and exploited by the labor market.

“The launch of the 7/10 Black Workers Center embodies our unwavering commitment to racial and economic justice in Maryland. We’ll ensure that Black workers across the state have access to high quality employment opportunities. This project is about creating thriving communities across the state where people have what they need— money to pay for essentials like housing, daycare, groceries and access to healthcare — and the ability to thrive” said Larry Stafford Jr., Executive Director of Progressive Maryland

Central to the project is the implementation of a pre-apprenticeship program, led in partnership with labor allies and skilled instructors.  The pre-apprenticeship will  equip Black workers with practical skills needed to compete for skilled labor positions  in the construction industry.. The program creates pathways to high-wage union jobs that provide a solid foundation for long-term economic stability. The project also tackles exploitative practices in the low-wage service industry. Progressive Maryland’s 7/10 Worker’s Center aims to build a resilient base among Black workers, fostering a more equitable work environment.

The Worker’s Center will engage in participatory research and conduct in-depth studies of Maryland's Black communities to identify the specific interests and needs of Black workers. The goal is to enable strategic actions that positively change lives and lead to healthier, more prosperous communities.