37th Annual MLK Human Rights banquet honors activists

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CBTU honorees
RECOGNIZING THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS: Machinists District 9, Lodge 1345 Secetary/Treasurer Michael Ringo (left) and CBTU-St. Louis President and CWA Local 6355 organizer Mark Esters (right) presented this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award United Church of Christ pastor Rev. Traci Blackmon (second from left), Advancement Project senior attorney Denise Lieberman (center) and Organization for Black Struggle Chairman Montague Simmons (second from right). – Philip Deitch photo

Honorees recognized for contributions to human and labor rights, social justice

The St. Louis Metro Area Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists hosted the 37th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award Banquet Jan. 19, at Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 Hall in St. Louis, recognizing three individuals for their contributions to the St. Louis area community for social justice, human and labor rights.

Robin Williams, associate director of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union’s (UFCW) Civil Rights and Community Action Department provided the keynote address.

HONOREES

This year’s honorees included:

  • Denise Lieberman, senior attorney for the Advancement Project, a national, multi-racial civil rights organization founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999 to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on quality legal analysis and public education campaigns.
  • Rev. Traci Blackmon, pastor Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, who has been a front line leader in the Ferguson protest movement.
  • Montague Simmons, chair of the Organization for Black Struggle

This year marked the 30th National Holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his life’s work for social and economic justice. Also called “Dr. King Day” the holiday is celebrated on the third Monday in January of each year.

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