Ephrin Jenkins

Black Labor Week Founder

Ephrin “EJ” Jenkins has 21 years as a member of USW LU 1014 in Gary, IN. During those years EJ has been very active within his Local Union and the Labor Movement as a whole. He’s held many positions such as Civil Rights Chairman, Assistant Griever, USW Next Generation District Coordinator, USW LU 1014 Next Generation Chairman and has held a positions one of the Local’s elected Trustees. He has completed Years 1-4 of the USW District 7 Summer Institute Program, with one year being there as a facilitator/educator. He’s also completed all 4 years of the USW International Leadership Scholarship program and the AFL-CIO Young Worker Leadership Institute. 

Over the years he has held various titles and positions, within the Steelworkers Union, A.P.R.I. and other community outlets. Piggybacking off of the Steelworkers young worker initiative, he started up the Young Workers Movement of District 7, January 2011. He’s also the founder and creator of Black Labor Week, which is approaching its 10th year in existence as of next year.

He has always been a strong advocate for community involvement and empowerment. In 2015 as a reaction to the senseless gun violence that killed a young female athlete, met with likeminded people and organized a citywide “Stop The Violence” march. The end goal was to try to create a platform of communication that would lead to tangible change against gun violence.

E.J. goes by his own words: “I want to create more activists. I want people to be a part of something they can be proud of. I’m looking to expand this event with other young activists who really believe in this event the same way I do.” “I’ve been putting myself in a position to learn so I can succeed when it’s time to lead”.