Acclaimed Labor leader Sara Nelson will speak at Mother Jones Dinner


Springfield, IL – Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), will be the featured speaker on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the 34th annual Mother Jones Dinner.

Nelson has been a leading voice on issues of women in the workforce, encouraging women everywhere to “Join Unions, Run Unions.”

During the longest shutdown in federal government history, she highlighted the security and safety risks at airports and on airlines while calling for a general strike. The New York Times then called her “America’s most powerful Flight Attendant.”

“She is probably as good a spokesperson as Labor has,” said Mineworkers President Cecil Roberts. “She is a great speaker. She is very passionate and fiery. She inspires.”

Nelson is from Corvallis, OR, where her father in a lumber mill and her mother was a teacher. She received a bachelor’s degree from Principia College in Elsah IL in 1995 and in ’96, she went to work as a flight attendant with United Airlines, soon becoming a union activist.

Nelson was strike chair and led communications for 10 years with the AFA’s United Chapter. In 2011 she was elected International Vice President and headed the organizing, communications and leadership development programs. She was elected International President in 2015 and is serving her second four-year term.

This year, Nelson received the AFL-CIO MLK Award. Salon magazine called her acceptance, “the single most important speech given about Labor in decades,” and referred to her as a “leader evidently guided by an internal moral compass that transcends conventional politics.”

The dinner has been held for 34 years to honor Mother Jones and promote her tough-minded approach to the Labor Movement. It will be held once again at Erin’s Pavilion in Southwind Park, at 4965 S. 2nd St. in Springfield, Ill., with social hour at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 and the program at 7.

Also at the dinner, the Wildflower Conspiracy acoustic duo from Greenville, will perform their Labor songs with a Labor theme during the dinner.

The complete weekend will include a pilgrimage to the Mother Jones Monument at Union Miners Cemetery in nearby Mt. Olive for a memorial ceremony beginning at noon.

Tickets to the dinner are $40 and will be mailed, so please reply early. Reserved tables of 10 are available for $400. Those who wish to support the program by purchasing tickets but cannot attend may make the tickets available to allow students, union and community members to join in.

The Foundation will accept donations as well, and those who donate $50 or more will be listed in the program. The Foundation also will collect book or monetary donations at the dinner, for school libraries.

Make checks for tickets payable to Mother Jones Foundation and send them to P.O. Box 20412, Springfield IL 62708-0412. Include name, address, union or organization, phone number and email address.

For more information call Al Pieper at (217) 522-4688 or Terry Reed at (217) 491-1298.



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