S3, Episode 2

In This Episode

Image of Bill Fletcher Jr

November 1, 2022: Bill Fletcher Jr. on Strategies for Successful Organizing

In the this episode, host Augustus Wood talks to legendary writer, scholar, and trade unionist Bill Fletcher Jr. They cover Fletcher’s storied life from his early years as a teen activist and then college, labor organizing, and leadership in the Black Radical Congress, among other experiences. Today, Fletcher is a frequent columnist and contributor to a number of media outlets, speaking on social justice, labor, and electoral and international politics.

Wood and Fletcher reflect on social movements of decades past and today, considering the critical importance of clarity in messaging, knowing the history, building strong organizational structures and strategies, cultivating coalitions, and staying curious.


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About the Guest

Bill Fletcher Jr. has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labor movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labor unions in addition to serving as a senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO.

Fletcher is the former president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; and in the leadership of several other projects. Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941”; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of “Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice“; and the author of “‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty other myths about unions.” Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio and the Web.