Speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus’s (CBC) National Black Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 4, AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer Everett Kelley urged labor and clergy to come together to support social justice and make sure that 2020 is the year of victory.
The CBC convened the emergency summit to brainstorm ways to fight back against threats to the Black community – voter suppression efforts at all levels, institutional racism, a resurgence of white supremacists, and Trump’s devastating policies. NST Kelley spoke on a panel about the 2020 Census, voter registration, and supporting social justice organizing for political and economic advancement.
“There is power in clergy. There is power in labor. We need to come together in a unified front. It has to be all of us standing together in order to win,” NST Kelley told the crowd.
NST Kelley is a labor leader but he also has served as the senior pastor of St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church for the past 31 years.
AFGE has a long history of working in coalition with labor and members of the faith community to take action. AFGE is a strong supporter of Rev. William Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign and our union participated in one of the largest interfaith, anti-racism gatherings in the country three years ago to demand justice and denounce racism following a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The event, dubbed One Thousand Ministers March for Justice, marked the 54th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
NST Kelley said Dr. King understood the urgency of working with labor when he lent his support to the black sanitary workers who had been on strike for higher wages and better treatment.