The Peggy Browning Fund 2020 Summer Newsletter

Planning for the 2020 season of PBF Summer Fellowships was mostly completed when the pandemic hit and the country shut down. PBF had awarded 91 fellowships at unions, union-side law firms, worker centers and non-profit organizations - the largest class of fellows in our history. Fortunately, most of our mentor organizations transitioned to having their Summer Fellow(s) work from home. New mentor organizations were added as needed, so all 91 fellowships were implemented. As this year’s fellows worked remotely to assist workers and their families, many have stories to tell of their experience during the pandemic as well as the Black Lives Matter movement. (to learn more about all 91 Summer Fellows, go to You can see why our Summer Fellowship Program is needed now more than ever from the following students in their own words: Mollie Ponds is a rising 2L at Southern University Law Center. She rates her Summer Fellowship with the NewOrleans Worker Center for Justice (NOWCRJ) as nothing short of rewarding and purposeful. NOWCRJ provided her with legal exposure to the challenging field of fighting racial injustices and providing community resources every day. One of the many highlights from this summer was being appreciated and knowing that she was valued and invested in from day one. She now sees the importance of workers’ rights and labor movement attorneys. Her supervising attorney knew that immigration law was a high interest of Mollie’s and did not think twice about providing her the opportunity to participate in local and national calls, assist in a partnered asylum clinic, and expose her to the obstacles immigration attorneys battle. Before this summer Mollie was aware of the gruesome treatment and conditions that immigrants were forced to endure. After working with them she was left astonished and motivated. (continued on pages 4-5) Summer 2020 Educating Law Students on the Rights and Needs of Workers Summer 2020 Proves Challenging For PBF and Mentor Organizations All 91 Fellowships Transitioned to Meaningful Experiences “This summer’s work during the global pandemic was an amazing opportunity that provided legal experience but also life jewels and I am truly grateful for the opportunity,” shared Mollie Pond. Pandemic and the Future Your Help is Needed These times have become very challenging for everyone and we recognize how we all have had to transition to working from home and how staying safe at home has placed a tremendous burden on the labor community. The coronavirus pandemic has created a very serious financial challenge for the Peggy Browning Fund. Since its founding in 1997, the PBF’s principal source of revenue has been hosting awards receptions honoring labor leaders and attorneys representing workers and unions. These events are held each year in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, and every other year in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. This year, we anticipated holding four awards receptions from January through June. The San Francisco and Philadelphia (continued on pg 2) Mollie Ponds in her Welcome photo at the NOWCRJ.