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Understanding Land and Labor Acknowledgements

What is a labor acknowledgement?

A labor acknowledgement is a statement that recognizes that much of the economic progress and development in a geographic area or industry resulted from the unpaid labor and forced servitude of People of Color - specifically enslaved African labor. 

Why is Labor Acknowledgement Important?

Labor acknowledgements are one way to "honor and remember the violent histories and legacies of settler colonialism" . . and to "collectively begin to acknowledge the historical labor that has allowed our society to get and be where it is today, then we will continue to struggle to reconcile and redress those histories and legacies." -- Terah TJ Stewart

Labor Acknowledgement In Advance Of Black History Month (2020)


There is not much information about the creation of labor acknowledgements generally.  The acknowledgement often combined with the land acknowledgement statement.  In addition to labor acknowledgements, many institutions use alternative ways to recognize and address the legacy of enslaved labor. Below are sources discussing some of these alternatives.