April Verrett Named First Black Woman President Of Nation’s Largest Service Workers Union


June 13, 2024

This is major!

In a landmark moment for the labor movement, April Verrett has been named the first Black woman President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s largest service workers union, SEIU reports. Her election marks a significant step forward in the ongoing struggle for diversity, equity, and systemic change within the labor movement, ushering in a new era of inclusive leadership and steadfast commitment to social justice. 

Verrett’s journey to the presidency is rooted in a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of unions and a lifelong dedication to advocating for the rights of workers. Hailing from the South Side of Chicago, Verrett’s upbringing instilled in her a profound understanding of the importance of collective action and the role of unions in uplifting marginalized communities. Her grandmother’s involvement as a Union Steward for SEIU Local 46 served as a formative influence, inspiring Verrett to follow in her footsteps and become a tireless champion for workers’ rights.


Prior to assuming the presidency of SEIU, April Verrett held several key leadership positions within the union, where she demonstrated her unwavering commitment to advancing the interests of workers. As Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU, Verrett played a pivotal role in shaping the union’s strategic direction, while her tenure as President of SEIU Local 2015 in California showcased her fierce advocacy on behalf of over 400,000 long-term care providers. Additionally, her leadership as Executive Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana underscored her dedication to holding corporations accountable and ensuring fair treatment for workers.

At the heart of Verrett’s vision for SEIU lies a steadfast commitment to combating systemic injustices and promoting diversity and inclusion within the labor movement. She firmly believes that unions serve as powerful vehicles for eradicating generational poverty, dismantling structural racism, and fostering vibrant, inclusive communities. Verrett’s ascent to the presidency sends a powerful message to union members and the broader community: that the voices of women and BIPOC communities are not only valued but essential to shaping the future of the labor movement.

Verrett’s leadership is characterized by a deep, personal understanding of the challenges faced by workers, particularly those from marginalized backgrounds. Her unwavering conviction that diversity is a source of strength fuels her belief in the power of collective action to effect meaningful change. As she takes the helm of SEIU, Verrett brings with her a wealth of experience, a tireless dedication to workers’ rights, and a vision for a more just and equitable future.


In welcoming April Verrett as the new president of SEIU, members of SEIU 503 and the broader labor community express optimism and enthusiasm for the transformative impact her leadership will bring. Verrett’s presidency represents not only a historic milestone but a rallying cry for a modern, anti-racist labor movement that is committed to advancing the rights and dignity of all workers.

Cover photo: April Verrett Named First Black Woman President of Nation’s Largest Service Workers Union/Photo Credit: Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

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