Last updated: July 23, 2018
Rachelle Horowitz was an organizer and strategist during the height of the modern civil rights movement, and is a major figure in labor union politics. As a student member of the socialist party during the late 1950s, Horowitz was encouraged to become involved in the civil rights movement by party leaders who recognized the leadership potential that she and other young members possessed. She and other socialists, such as Tom Khan and Norm Hill, worked with Bayard Rustin, assisting with planning for demonstrations and labor organization efforts.
At Rustin’s request, Horowitz served as the transportation coordinator for the 1963 March on Washington. She was responsible for securing transportation to get leaders, organizations, and March participants to and from Washington, DC. Horowitz also assisted Rustin with running the March’s organizing headquarters in New York.
In the following year, Horowitz spent three months in Jackson, Mississippi for the formation of the Freedom Democrats and assisting with organizing Freedom Summer. She also continued to work with Rustin, serving as his assistant from 1964 to 1973, and working with him and others to form the Social Democrats, USA Party. She continued her efforts with labor unions throughout the 1970s and served as the political director of the American Federation of Teachers from 1974 to 1995.