Local 1991 member Danielle Fleurme, RN, recently joined thousands of other SEIU members and labor activities for the Selma to Montgomery March in Alabama. The event re-enacted the Selma to Montgomery March in Alabama and highlighted new attacks on voting rights, immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights and education.
The event marked the 47th anniversary of 1965’s “Bloody Sunday,” when more than 600 marchers calling for enactment of the Voting Rights Act were met by hundreds of local and state police with billy clubs and tear gas. It was a crucial moment in our country’s Civil Rights Movement.
Fleurme, 29, was selected to travel to the event after our union hosted a drawing for the 5-day trip earlier this month. “I never thought I would be a part of something like this, to be part of something bigger than me,” said Fleurme, who has worked in Jackson Main’s South Wing 8 since 2008.
Fleurme arrived in Alabama and spent three days marching alongside thousands people of all ages from across the country. The first day, the group marched 11 miles, followed by another 9 miles the next day, then another five miles on the third day.
“It was a lot of walking and I met a lot of people,” Fleurme said. “We stopped at a lot of areas where the original marchers walked. It was a beautiful thing.”
While the journey was tough, Fleurme was encouraged by her fellow marchers and met people from California, New York, Boston and other cities. She even met a 101-year-old woman who participated in the original march.
Fleurme said she learned valuable lessons that she now shares with her fellow union members at Jackson. “I learned the importance of our union members uniting as one,” she said. “I learned the importance of not giving up, especially with all that is going on at Jackson. We can’t just accept things as they are, we have to fight. The march was a great encouragement to me.”