When Al Weinrub passed away in August 2023, he left a profound legacy: He co-founded the anti-imperialist organization Science for the People in 1969. Engaged with the energy crisis of the mid-1970s and with the movements for Black liberation, women’s liberation, national liberation movements, defense of affirmative action, organized labor, and leftist politics, among others. In the early 1980s, he co-founded the Labor Network on Central America, uniting unionists and leadership at all levels of the U. S. labor movement in support of Central American unionists. His involvement with the Labor Commission of Line of March aligned him with Jesse Jackson’s National Rainbow Coalition as he worked to build a more powerful class-struggle based, multi-racial labor movement. He became a leader of the National Writers’ Union Bay Area Chapter and subsequently a First Vice President of the national union, joining efforts to further the rights of writers and other exploited freelance professional workers, including the struggle to free political death-row prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Most recently, Weinrub has devoted himself to the climate crisis and to the democratization of energy. He was recognized in April 2023 as a Lifelong Energy Justice Champion by the California Alliance for Community Energy.
Right before he passed, Weinrub donated his collection -- the Al Weinrub Justice Papers -- documenting his life of fighting for justice to the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center (SCUA). The Al Weinrub Justice Papers document the labor, anti-war, human rights, and climate justice movements in the U.S and its intersections with political struggles over the past five decades. Weinrub and SCUA recognized the impact his work will have on understanding the history of the movements he was involved in, while also inspiring and instructing new generations dedicated to moving these important movements forward.
The Al Weinrub Justice Fund will support SCUA in making Weinrub's legacy available as widely as possible, free from barriers to access, and open to all. This will include organizing the Al Weinrub Justice Papers, digitizing collection highlights, and ensuring that Weinrub's collection and legacy are activated and can engage and inspire a national and international community. The goal is to reach $30,000 which would make the collection accessible and allow for significantly more digitization, along with an event to breathe life into Al’s fifty years of justice work.
Please make your gift today by clicking the Give Now button above or make your gift by mail by following the instructions below:
Make your check payable to the UMass Amherst Foundation, Inc., write "Al Weinrub Justice Fund" in the memo line, and send to:
UMass Amherst Foundation
Records and Gift Processing
134 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9270
The Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center (SCUA) collects materials of enduring historical and cultural value relating to four major thematic areas: the history and experience of social change in America; the histories and cultures of New England with an emphasis on Massachusetts; innovation and entrepreneurship; and the broad community associated with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SCUA’s collections are highly integrated and span all formats, including personal papers and organizational records, books and periodicals, maps, photographs, audio and video recordings, and digital materials of all kinds. The department is located on the 25th floor of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library and is open to the public.
More information about Al Weinrub and Al Weinrub Justice Collection
Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center (SCUA)
Credo (SCUA’s digital repository)
Science for the People Records