By email@example.com (Colleen O’Neill)
Tefere Gebre is an evangelist for labor organizing in the South. When he was 14, Gebre fled war-torn Ethiopia, walking for weeks to a Sudanese refugee camp before arriving in Los Angeles as a political refugee. He got involved with labor while working as a night shift loader at UPS, and became active in a variety of unions and campaigns, rising to be executive director of the Orange County Labor Federation in 2008. In 2013, he was elected executive vice president of the national AFL-CIO, where he has been a staunch advocate for experimenting with new forms of organizing as well as the need to steer resources and energy to a place he believes the labor movement is needed most: the U.S. South. Institute for Southern Studies Executive Director Chris Kromm spoke with Gebre at a recent meeting of the International Labor Communications Association in Raleigh, N.C.