March 17, 2022
Member Spotlight is a new, recurring blog post series intended to highlight and connect the dots between the programs and priorities of the NC State AFL-CIO and the leaders and activist members of our affiliates who make it all possible.
My name is Anthony Towner, and I am a member of the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 5285 living in Gastonia, NC. I serve on the Racial Justice Committee of the North Carolina AFL-CIO and help lead our anti-racism trainings.
I was drawn to this work because it’s hands-on and interactive, and it is so necessary. The sessions I facilitate are like diversity trainings “on steroids” during which participants are fully engaged and it seems like we never have enough time. I also get to learn broad perspectives from the participants. It’s the conversations I’m most passionate about. I truly believe that conversation, no matter how uncomfortable, is a start toward understanding, bridging divides, and healing.
I want people to know that while most people probably aren’t racist, most of us have inherited and learned racial leanings and biases that sometimes we ourselves are blind to. Creating and joining safe spaces of full and frank disclosure is how we check our blind spots, and that’s when real growth can take place.