(WASHINGTON)—The national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, J. David Cox Sr., was awarded with the AFL-CIO’s At the River I Stand award on Jan. 20 during the AFL-CIO’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance and conference, We Are One: Workers’ Rights and Civil Rights, this year held in Philadelphia. The At the River I Stand award is given annually to a national leader who has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to civil rights and workers’ rights.
“I am so honored to receive this award and sincerely thank the AFL-CIO,” Cox said. “I truly believe that public service as the most powerful tool to bridge our gaps, heal wounds, and lift up working families. Further, the labor movement and civil rights movement must be one movement united to end discrimination in all forms.”
The At the River I Stand award is named in honor of the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers who stood at their “river” and made the decision to take a stand against degrading and unsafe working conditions and racial discrimination and for the freedom to form a union. Their struggle demonstrated the deep bonds between the civil rights and labor movements and those who receive the At the River I Stand award exemplify the spirit of the Memphis sanitation workers in their lives and work.