The inaugural Game Changer Award from the National Women Innovating Labor Leadership (WILL) Empower program was awarded last Friday to Erica Iheme, the southern director at Jobs to Move America.
A graduate of Alabama A&M, Iheme spent 17 years as an organizer and union builder throughout the United States. Born and raised in Alabama, Iheme worked in hospitals, the public sector, higher education, and home-care. Iheme joined Jobs to Move America in 2020 as the Southern program director, where she aided in creating the Alabama Coalition for Community Benefits and several Alabama Worker Bill of Rights trainings offered by the group.
“I’m just a Black girl from North Birmingham. To be recognized by the larger labor community, my peers, is a blessing,” Iheme said during her acceptance speech, held via Zoom Friday. “My mother and father raised us to build and take care of our community. To me, the work that I’ve done through my career empowering and mobilizing workers all across America has been a sacrifice that I was more than happy to make.”
WILL Empower is a national labor advocacy program for women headquartered at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor in Washington DC, and the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University in New Jersey.