St. Louis CBTU Chapter honors Congresswoman Cori Bush, State Senator Karla May

HONOREES AND PARTICIPANTS present at the CBTU banquet included (from left) St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, 2022 Calloway Award recipients U.S. Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-1) and Missouri State Senator Karla May (D-4) St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Green (15th Ward) and Tina Cramer, Civil Rights Committee chairperson for UAW Local 2250. – Erica M. Brooks photo

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists 35th Ernest & De Verne Calloway Awards Banquet was held Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel with 340 guests in attendance.

Congresswoman Cori Bush and State Senator Karla May were this year’s recipients of the Calloway Awards.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones was the keynote speaker, and remarks were made by State Representative Rasheen Aldridge and St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Green.

St. Louis City License Collector Mavis Thompson, St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Michael Butler, and Bellefontaine Neighbors Alderwoman Theresa Hester were among the local elected officials present.

Labor leaders, Merri Berry, secretary/treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO; Ronnie Griffin, business manager, Laborers Local 110; Chris Rak, president, SEIU Local 1; Bill Brady, president, American Postal Workers Union; Kim Bartholomew, president, UNITE HERE Local 74; Keith Robinson, president, St. Louis A. Phillip Randolph Institute (APRI); Natasha Pickens, president CWA Local 6255, Floyd Bell, president CWA Local 6300; and John Bowman, president, St Louis County NAACP) all were present in support.

The St. Louis CBTU Chapter is led President Jay Ozier.

The theme for the Banquet was “We Vote! We Win! 11-8-22!,” emphasizing the crucial importance of the black vote in the Nov. 8 election, said Lew Moye, president emeritus, St. Louis CBTU Chapter.

The annual awards are given in honor and memory of the husband and wife team of Ernest and De Verne Calloway, who dedicated themselves to the struggle for human, civil and Labor rights.

Ernest Calloway worked in the Kentucky coal mines and as an organizer for the Congress of Industrial Organizations before moving to St. Louis in 1950, where he later became director of education for Teamster’s Local 688, president of the St. Louis NAACP and a professor of urban studies at St. Louis University.

De Verne Calloway taught school in Georgia and Mississippi before joining the American Red Cross and traveling to China, Burma, and India during World War II. While in India she led a protest against the segregation of black soldiers in Red Cross facilities. In 1962, she became the first African American woman state representative elected to the Missouri Legislature and championed the causes of civil rights, equal rights, jobs, Labor rights, fair housing and prison reform.




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