Crowds surged through the streets and campus at Howard University as several anxiously awaited the arrival of President Barack Obama. Graduates were flushed with excitement and families were filled with pride, but for others, their presence at the university was anything but joyful. Members of the 32BJ SEIU advocated for their rights to fair contract treatment from Thompson Hospitality. Many of the protesters had been working at Howard University for decades while others were quickly laid off as they were first hired. Together, these workers advocated for working rights to have a bright future for themselves and their families - the victims of this injustice.
Recently laid off workers protest outside of Howard University to raise awareness of the unjust layoffs and furloughs of Thompson Hospitality on Saturday, May 8, 2016.
Longtime workers stand in solidarity of all the lives Thompson Hospitality has hindered based on several violations made on their working contract.
Bernard Hackett, a leader in the union, instructs other protesters on the important facts necessary to be heard by the nearby university graduate guests.
Willie Lucas, an electrician who has worked at Howard University for over 39 years chants his somber feelings over the mistreatment and violation of his contract.
Protesters express their feelings through dance while chanting in hopes of having their voice be heard by University officials.
After having spoken with Thompson Hospitality, Willie Lucas protests for a reconsideration on layoffs and furloughs to prevent many workers from losing their homes.
Jalil takes the megaphone and leads the chant demanding job security for his elders while expressing his fear of entering the workforce.
Willie expresses his joy at the amount of support that has gathered at the corner of of 6th and Georgia to receive respect and fair treatments of their contracts.
Protesters yelled continuously throughout the day hoping to raise awareness to the community and prevent the rumored upcoming furloughs for others.
During the protest, Bernard Hackett stood alongside his son, Jalil Hackett, to serve as an example of the true victims of the unjust furloughs and layoffs made by Thompson Hospitality.