The Aggressive Anti-Union Campaign at StoryCorps
Justin Williams has long been working to combine his interests in storytelling with activism for social justice. At the production company Kartemquin Films, for example, he coached emerging filmmakers of color through their first full-length documentaries. So when he was offered the chance to work as a facilitator for StoryCorps, the nonprofit media and cultural-heritage company dedicated to “preserving people’s stories,” Williams jumped at it. He was drawn to StoryCorps because of its simplicity (stories are recorded as 40-minute conversations between two people who know each other), its wide audience (stories are regularly broadcast via NPR), and its commitment to the representation of marginalized populations who would not otherwise have access to public media.
And yet, when a group of employees told management of their intention to unionize in late May, the organization declined to voluntarily recognize the union.