Skip to main content

Member Spotlight: Anthony Towner (UAW)

Jeremy Sprinkle
Social share icons

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.

For more information about the Racial Justice Committee or to request anti-racism training, email [email protected] or [email protected].

Anthony Towner presenting at a racial justice training in Charlotte
Attendees at the Charlotte-Metrolina CLC's Racial Justice training Sept. 25, 2021