Clayola Brown’s lifelong commitment to labor activism began in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, where she—alongside her activist mother—campaigned to organize the Manhattan Shirt Factory. Rising through the ranks at the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, she served as Civil Rights Director, eventually becoming elected as an International Vice President and continues to serve in that capacity under the repositioned union Workers United, an SEIU affiliate.
She has been the National President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute since 2004—the first female to serve in that role. In addition, she was appointed as Civil Rights Director, AFL-CIO in February 2021. And, most recently transitioned into a new role within the AFLCIO as Senior Adviser for Strategic Partnerships and Racial Justice. In this role she advises the officers across all of the AFL-CIO’s primary bodies of work: organizing, politics and advocacy. She will facilitate relationship building with the civil rights community, further deepening engagement through the lens of organizing and racial justice.