Simone Frank | February 14, 2022
Launched in Summer 2021, the UCLA Center for the Advancement of Racial Equity (CARE) at Work Freedom Fellowship aims to build a bridge between students and labor leaders, union members and field organizers in partnership with the Southern California Black Worker Hub and CARE at Work’s regional Black Worker Center allies.
The fellowship offers a 10-week experiential learning opportunity that gives both community college and UCLA students a chance to gain hands-on organizing experience working in the movement for civic and economic justice for Black workers.
Originally from Toronto, Motunrayo Ekunboyejo is a fourth-year transfer political science student at UCLA who grew up in Mountain House, a small town located in Northern California. Ekunboyejo is passionate about serving her community and has a strong desire to uplift workers facing economic difficulties so she formed part of the Freedom Fellowship’s first cohort during the summer of 2021.
“Even though Motunrayo was supposed to learn from me, I learned so much from her. She is just so determined, so smart, so cool and any amazing descriptors I could use. I thank her for all of her help,” Grayson Bell, program assistant for Blu Educational Foundation.
Motunrayo Ekunboyejo discussed her experiences as a Freedom Fellow and her accomplishments below.
What are you passionate about and what are your interests around Black worker justice?
I am passionate about making sure Black workers are not facing discrimination within their workplaces and are given equal opportunity to advance within their jobs. Black workers are often the last hired and first fired which disproportionately puts them in challenging situations, making it harder to support their loved ones. Seeing how the people around me from friends, family, and community members have experienced the workforce has made me interested in learning what part I can play to help combat some of the issues Black workers face in the workforce.