(Aug. 6, 2021) — The women of the WNBA — professional athletes and union members — spent the summer of 2020 in “The Wubble,” locked down in a sports facility in Florida. The WNBA-Bubble protected them from the COVID-19 virus and allowed some of the finest athletes on earth to perform before empty stands. But the Wubble separated them from family, friends and community during the most politically tumultuous moments of our lifetime: the nation reeled in the aftermath of police shootings of unarmed Black women and men, and approached the most consequential election since the Civil War.
How the women of the WNBA turned their anger and pain to collective action, and how they helped focus national attention on the Senate campaign of the Rev. Raphael Warnock in Georgia, is the subject of the extraordinary ESPN documentary “144.”
This afternoon, as part of the United Association for Labor Educators’ 2021 Summer Institute for Union Women, all are invited to hear the story not yet told: how the WNBA Players Association members’ organizing strategy over the preceding years built unity, focus and trust around their social justice work. With this history, the WNBPA won a COVID-era back-to-work agreement granting them the right to fight for Black Lives on and off the basketball court.
On Friday, Aug. 6 at 3:30 p.m. PST, click here to join the “Women of the WNBA Players Association and Their Epic Fight for Gender & Racial Justice,” via Facebook Live streaming from the 2021 Summer Institute for Union Women. Speakers will include Terri Jackson, Executive Director, Womens National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA); Crystal Langhorne, Seattle Storm’s Director of Community Engagement for Seattle’s Force4Change (and retired WNBA All-Star); and Bianca Cunningham, Campaigns Director, Bargaining for the Common Good Network. Cheryl Coney of the United Association of Labor Educators will moderate.