The annual Evening with Labor awards dinner hosted by the Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO brought together activists from around the area to celebrate community activism and reflect on the issues facing the labor movement. The night of dinner and dancing, held on March 14 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, shined a bright light on labor leaders and activists that continue to lay the groundwork for the labor movement in the D.C. metro area.
Among the winners at this year’s dinner was the OPEIU Local 2/AFGE Community Service Committee at the AFGE headquarters office. The committee was awarded the Thomas M. Bradley Community Services award for its work in 2014. A group of AFGE staffers, represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), started the community service group in 2012 and since then has been organizing and/or participating in 10 - 15 community service projects a year.
“There’s almost no greater opportunity than that of serving and uplifting our communities,” said OPEIU Local 2/AFGE Community Service Committee Chair Chelsea Bland. “As a collective we have the chance to meet the immediate needs of those who are facing challenging times. With that service we learn about our neighbors who are facing adversity and the systems that need changing in order to improve our collective condition.”
The committee organizes a number of service projects including food, clothing, personal care and school supply drives; as well as, participation in area walks that raise money for community causes or health conditions. Committee members have also volunteered at D.C. area schools in beautification projects and supported various initiatives from the Community Services Agency.