By CARL GREEN
Springfield, IL – The World Peace Prize Awarding Council has announced it will honor Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan as a “Roving Ambassador for Peace,” the NowDecatur.com website reported.
Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps, the organization was founded in 1989 in Seoul, South Korea, to present the World Peace Prize and related awards.
Since then, the main prize has been given to former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, peace activist and religious leader Mahatma Gandhi and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, plus others who are less known in the U.S. but include several Asian presidents, according to Wikipedia.
How did they Council choose Mike Carrigan, a union worker, former city councilman in Decatur and now leader of one of the largest AFL-CIO state organizations?
One of the Council’s leaders, Father Sean McManus, president of the Irish National Caucus and Chief Judge of the Council, said it reflects the relationship of unions, justice and peace. Carrigan was nominated by the group’s Washington office, which McManus heads, and the award was approved by the 14 members of the its International and Interfaith board.
“We were pleased to be able to propose Michael Carrigan because of the intrinsic link between justice and peace,” McManus said. “Labor leaders who spend their entire lives working in solidarity for justice for working men and women are, indeed, working for peace – not only nationally but also globally.”
Carrigan said the peace-and-justice movement is a vital ally to Labor.
“I am humbled and deeply honored to receive this recognition,” he said. “The Labor Movement and its allies build peace through economic and social justice causes throughout the world. Our fight for justice knows no borders, and the enemies of peace are the enemies of justice.
“The work continues, and the Labor Movement will not be distracted from its goals,” he added. “I would like to thank the Awarding Council for this great honor and accept it on behalf of all in the Labor Movement fighting for justice and building peace throughout the world.”
The award will be presented to Carrigan at a luncheon in Burr Ridge, IL, headquarters of the Illinois AFL-CIO, on Nov. 8. Lunch is at 11 and the program is at 12:45. Call (217) 544-4014 to RSVP.