Historian to discuss Louisville union’s work to challenge racism


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Labor historian Toni Gilpin will discuss “Louisville’s ‘Most Perfect Union’” during two Sept. 16 talks about an interracial union local’s efforts in the 1950s.

    Gilpin will speak at 1 p.m. in 300 Bingham Humanities Building and at 6 p.m. at the National Association of Letter Carriers’ office, 4815 Poplar Level Road. Both free, public talks are sponsored by UofL’s Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, UofL’s Pan-African studies and history departments, Kentucky Labor Institute and the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council.

    Her lecture – “Louisville’s ‘Most Perfect Union’: An Examination of United Farm Equipment Workers Local 236 at International Harvester” – will look at the union’s groundbreaking work for racial equity in pay. The union local’s black and white leaders also were early challengers of segregation in area parks.

    Gilpin is co-author of “On Strike for Respect: The Clerical and Technical Workers’ Union at Yale University, 1984-85” and is working on a history of the Chicago-based Farm Equipment Workers. She teaches American history for the Odyssey Project, an Illinois Humanities Council program that provides free college-level courses for low-income adults.

    For more information, call Mariam Williams at the institute, 502-852-6142, or visit www.anne-braden.org/events

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.