AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer Eugene Hudson Jr. was recognized by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) with the Labor & Social Justice Leadership Award at the 18th Annual Spirit of Democracy Celebration on October 7.
Since 1976 the NCBCP, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, has been dedicated to increasing civil engagement and voter participation to promote social and economic justice in Black and underserved communities at the local, state, national and global levels. The organization strives to empower people in all aspects of public life through volunteer service, advocacy, and leadership development.
Upon accepting the award, Hudson said that his career as a public servant and union leader can all be traced back to one core belief in equality and fairness.
"I try to be fair to everybody, I believe in treating people equitably." Hudson said. "I want to continue to do that and I want that to be my legacy."
Hudson grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, just as the Civil Rights movement began in the segregated South. Hudson said that his parents set a strong example for how to treat others. They instilled in him the belief that you do not leave your fellow man behind and that there is an intrinsic reward to helping others.
"I work to be a strong leader who advocates for people whose voices have been silenced," he said. "I'm proud to serve in an organization as diverse as AFGE."
Hudson pointed to the diverse makeup of the AFGE National Executive Council as a prime example of how AFGE calls on people from all walks of life to strengthen and lead the labor movement. Many from the NEC were present at the reception including National Vice President for Women and Fair Practices Augusta Thomas, and National Vice Presidents Dorothy James, Everett Kelley, Eric Bunn Sr., and Cheryl Eliano.
National President J. David Cox Sr. offered the following congratulatory message to NST Hudson -- "I am so proud to see Eugene recognized for his work. He has always been a strong advocate for our members and I know he carries that drive even when he's not conducting AFGE business."
Hudson is the first African American to be elected to the position of AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer. He was recently reelected by acclamation during the 40th National Convention.
President Barack Obama sent his well-wishes to all attendees of the event, and in a statement, said that "America moves forward when people across our Nation -- of all origins, backgrounds, and beliefs --join in a spirit of common purpose to brighten our shared future. As long as we stay true to that spirit, I am confident we can build on the extraordinary sense of promise that binds us."