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July 25-29, 2005


Photo essay by Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

(This page under construction)

A day-long "National Summit on Labor and Diversity" preceded the national AFL-CIO convention, calling for the leadership of the labor movement to reflect the diversity of the membership. See story.


Right: Kent Wong, director of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California-Los Angeles, moderated a floor discussion. He posed the question: "What is it going to take to make sure the leadership of the labor movement looks like the membership of the labor movement?

Right: Patty Crispino, American Federation of Teachers member from New York, reminded the session that civil rights secured for gays and lesbians benefit everyone. She asked: "Did you know that domestic partner benefits are used more by straight people than gay people?"

One conference participant commented, "unless we actively recruit people, we're not going to have diverse leadership."

Left: "The problem is not that simple," said Rick Loza, SEIU Local 73. "What we need to look at is better ways to organize."

Left: “There is no substitute for being in the room when policy is made,” said Bill Lucy, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and secretary-treasurer of AFSCME.

Above: Ida Castro, former chair of federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "The unions that aren't diversified are the unions that are losing membership," she noted. "Labor must be the community and the community must be labor."

She added: "We cannot allow the Republicans to continue to define us. They want to divide and conquor. We want to add and multiply. Just remember your basic math… Make sure, when we go back home, we stay one."

Above: Rev. Addie Wyatt, a retired vice-president of UFCW, long-time civil rights leader, and founder of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. "My message is the same as it was in 1941 when I joined the union… we can't afford the luxury of battling with each other." Wyatt concluded her remarks by reciting "Solidarity Forever" in the cadence of a gospel sermon.

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