AFSA Team at AFL-CIO MLK Celebration

For more than 25 years, the AFL-CIO’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observance has brought together more than 500 trade unionists annually to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, perform community service, and examine current civil and human rights issues.

This year, AFSA Secretary-Treasurer Lauran Waters-Cherry and AFSA Program Director Florida Woods are on site working hand and hand with other unions. Joining them is the chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors, Leon Russell, who delivered the keynote address at the conference.

This event reinforces the historic bond between the labor and civil rights movements, honors Dr. King’s vision on the importance of collective action—whether at the voting booth or at the workplace—and mobilizes participants to continue their work to make Dr. King’s dream a reality.

With all the critical electoral and democratic work ahead of us in the new year, the theme for the 2020 MLK Conference is "Give Us the Ballot," drawn from Dr. King's pivotal voting rights speech delivered at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom gathering in Washington, D.C., in 1957.

More than 60 years after Dr. King laid out for the nation the innumerable gains that would be made possible if every citizen had full access to the voting booth, we still are facing voter disenfranchisement at alarming levels.