Redeeming the Dream

The continuing struggle for labor and civil rights provided a powerful emotional backdrop as tens of thousands gathered to mark the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Local 3429 President Claudine Wilkins-Chambers and Local 1303-132 President Stacie Harris-Byrdsong were among the Council 4 members, retirees and staff who traveled all night by bus to participate in the Aug. 24 ‘Realize the Dream March and Rally' at the National Mall.

They offered their reflections before boarding the bus to our nation's capital:

On Aug. 28, 2013, the state chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the Connecticut AFL-CIO marked the official anniversary of the March on Washington with a special town hall forum at Shiloh Baptist Church in Hartford.

The evening centered around a provocative panel discussion that included Dr. Benjamin Foster of the State NAACP; Dr. Bilal Sekou of the University of Hartford; Lori Pelletier of the Connecticut AFL-CIO; Joan Gibson of the Office of the Secretary of State; and Yvonne Duncan of the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

Duncan is a member of AFSCME Local 2663, one of three unions (along with Local 269 and Local 714) that comprise our state Human and Social Services Bargaining Unit. Here's an excerpt from her remarks: