Actor Danny Glover and Mississippi Student Justice Alliance bring Nissan workers’ rights campaign to TSU students (03-21-13)

“Concerned Students for a Better Nissan College Tour” visits Nashville

(NASHVILLE, TN) – Actor and activist Danny Glover and the Mississippi Student Justice Alliance (MSJA) will bring the “Concerned Students for a Better Nissan College Tour” to Tennessee State University on Tuesday, March 26 at 6 p.m. The students and award-winning actor are holding public rallies at select college campuses to mobilize support for Nissan workers in Canton, Miss., who want to organize a union without intimidation and threats from the company.

The three-city university tour launched March 19 in Atlanta, where more than 200 students and community members from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Georgia State University attended. The Tour will continue to Washington, D.C. Thursday, March 28, with the goal of engaging college students in the campaign to achieve a fair union election at Nissan. Events are being held at historically black colleges and universities and students from surrounding colleges are being invited to take part in the movement. Participants are sharing with the world how Nissan treats its employees in Mississippi who want a voice and the right to decide freely whether to have a union represent them. Danny Glover and MSJA members are signing up students at each of these universities to participate in campaign protests later this year in support of Nissan workers.

One of the reasons Glover has become involved in this campaign is because Nissan works with unions all over the world, except in the United States. “They have unions in South Africa and Japan. We’re only asking for American workers to have the right to vote on a union and not face intimidation.”

The Mississippi Student Justice Alliance is a coalition of national and international students and student organizations who have pledged to stand with Nissan workers as they fight for justice and a voice in the workplace. They will be joined by a member of the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN), an organization representing clergy, elected officials, civil rights activists and students in Mississippi. A Nissan worker from Mississippi also will talk about what he’s been experiencing in the plant. Additionally, several Nissan workers from a nearby plant in Smyrna, Tenn., are planning to attend.

Tyson Jackson, executive chair, Mississippi Student Justice Alliance said that the “Concerned Students for a Better Nissan College Tour” will help shed light on a social justice issue from a student’s perspective. “As young consumers, our generation does not support Nissan’s unfair treatment of workers. We plan to create a global coalition of students who support Nissan workers in Mississippi.”

The MSJA was formed after students in Mississippi interned with the UAW Global Organizing Institute in summer 2012. They spent time with Nissan workers in Canton during home visits and meetings, and heard first-hand how they were being treated. They participated in several community meetings, student/labor events and auto shows raising awareness of Nissan workers’ efforts to obtain a fair union election. Today, the MSJA has more than 200 members in Mississippi, comprised of students from Tougaloo College, Jackson State University, Hinds Community College and even some high schools, who are hosting forums, workshops and conferences to educate students about the issues that Nissan workers are facing.

The event is open to the public and co-sponsored by the Tennessee State University Student Government Association. Glover will address attendees and be available for interviews at the event.


Danny Glover, actor and activist

Tyson Jackson, executive chair, Mississippi Student Justice Alliance (Tougaloo College)

Kimar Cain, chapter president, Mississippi Student Justice Alliance (Tougaloo College)

Monica Atkins, executive member, Mississippi Student Justice Alliance (Jackson State University)

When:      Tuesday, March 26, 6-7:30 p.m. EST

Where:    Tennessee State University

Walter S. Davis Humanities Building, T.E. Poag Auditorium

3500 John A Merrit Blvd

Nashville, TN 37209

For more information, contact: Catherine Gryp, (804) 675-8141,                                       

Mississippi Student Justice Alliance

Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan

P.O. Box 1674, Canton, MS 39046