Connecting legacy of AFSCME strikers and Dr. King

Posted Jan. 10, 2018 by

In 1968, AFSCME sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike for dignity and respect. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood with them to fight for civil and labor rights in the final campaign of his life. As we approach the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we celebrate his memory as well as the inextricable link between civil rights and workers’ rights–and AFSCME members’ strong history in those fights.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of this watershed moment. But this is more than a commemoration; it is a call to action. AFSCME’s I AM 2018 Campaign, whose theme is taken from the strikers’ iconic slogan, “I AM A MAN,” is about training and mobilizing activists to make change in their communities in 2018 and beyond. IAm2018 isn't just a look back at the past; it's a call to action for the future.

Dr. King said, “Our needs are identical with labor’s needs–decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.”

Download the I Am 2018 Resource Guide.

Learn more about AFSCME’s long history, actions and events at

Participate in Moment of Silence events on Feb. 1.