BMWED-IBT Diversity Committee Participates in MLK-Inspired Social Justice Events

Published: Jan 22 2019 11:20AM

The BMWED-IBT Committee on Diversity celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in several events Jan. 18 - 21 in Washington, D.C., bringing awareness to social justice and rallying against discrimination in the days leading up to the MLK holiday. 

The Committee, which was implemented to advance and strengthen unity amongst our culturally diverse membership, started the eventful weekend by attending the 2019 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference. For more than 25 years, the AFL-CIO MLK holiday observance has brought together more than 500 trade unionists annually to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King by performing community service and examining current civil right issues.  The event reinforces the historical bond between the labor and civil rights movement. The BMWED Brothers and Sisters met internally for their yearly face-to-face meeting and participated in several conferences and workshops in solidarity with other labor unions and civil rights activists.  
On Saturday January 19th the BMWED joined the Women’s March, which kicked off in Freedom Plaza and continued down Pennsylvania Avenue. Our Brothers and Sisters braved the frigid temperatures to have their voices heard, demanding an end to violence against women and pushing for gender equality in the workplace. Spirits were high and marchers displayed determination to fight for women’s issues. BMWED Sister Shyrmayle Brown, of Pennsylvania Federation Local Lodge 3041, said of her time, “It was an amazing experience. The amount of love and support in the air was overwhelming. So many women from all over the world were in Washington D.C. to make a positive change.”

BMWED Members Jorge Flores, BURL General Chairwoman Staci Moody-Gilbert, Shyrmayle Brown, Allied Federation VC Andrew Shelton, Carmen Nunes, Reva Brown, USD Vice Chairman Renne Perez, and Jennifer Ross in the Women’s March on Washington, DC.

On Martin Luther King Day, the BMWED-IBT Committee on Diversity performed civic responsibilities by donating their time to community service. The Brothers and Sisters visited Kelly Middle School in the Deanwood neighborhood of Northeast Washington D.C., assisting in light construction projects, such as painting walls and building book shelves.  The AFL-CIO partnered with community organization, City Year, in an effort to beautify the historic Deanwood neighborhood.  
More than 50 years after MLK’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom our country still finds itself in the midst of political and social unrest.  One way we can carry on the legacy of Dr. King is to lift each other up, participate in our communities, and lend a hand to our neighbors, no matter your race, religion, sex, or political affiliation.  We are our Brother’s keeper, we are our Sister’s keeper. Thank you to our members of the Committee on Diversity for carrying on these traditions with dignity and respect.

Brothers Renne Perez, Andrew Shelton, and BMWED Vice President Roger Sanchez building bookshelves at Kelly Middle School in NE Washington, DC while Pennsylvania Federation Local Lodge 3082 Sister Carmen Nunes helps paint the hallway.