The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum (NAPRPPM) will mark its 28th anniversary by hosting the “Gentle Warrior Awards” Black-Tie Gala Fundraiser on Saturday, February 25, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The event will take place at the IBEW Local 134 Complex, 2722 S. King Drive in Chicago. Returning as celebrity emcee is ABC 7 Chicago personality Hosea Sanders.
“As the only museum of its kind in the world, our mission is simple yet necessary,” said the museum’s founder Dr. Lyn Hughes. “It is imperative that the contributions of African Americans in the U.S. labor movement be recognized for their efforts and sacrifices. Our museum exists to preserve this history, share their narratives on a national platform and continue to pave the way for African Americans in organized labor.”
The museum is the only one in the world that bears the name A. Philip Randolph, founder of the first Black labor union in the nation—The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP). The Porter’s union was the first Black union to be chartered under the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the first Black union to win a collective bargaining agreement with a major U.S. corporation—the powerful Pullman company.
Randolph’s unwavering courage, sacrifice and intuitive leadership opened doors for Blacks in organized labor and enabled the Porters to create the foundation for the Black middle class. As one of America’s foremost labor and Civil Rights leaders, Randolph became known as the “Gentle Warrior.”
The Gentle Warrior Award is presented to individuals who exhibit the similar commitment, focus, and tenacity that Randolph displayed throughout his career. For the first time ever, both recipients are high-ranking officials from the labor community.
This year’s Gentle Warrior Awardees are Elizabeth Shuler, the first female President of the National AFL-CIO, and Fred Redmond, Secretary/Treasurer, of the AFL-CIO. Mr. Redmond is the highest-ranking African American in the organized labor community.
“We are indeed making history by honoring two individuals whose work in the labor movement has national reach and impact,” added Hughes.
The evening also includes the recognition of Change Agents. This award is presented to those who have not only invoked positive change through action but have required it of others throughout the communities they serve.
This year’s Change Agent Awardees are the Honorable Arnette Hubbard, Retired Illinois Supreme Court Judge; Stacy Davis Gates, President of the Chicago Teachers Union; and Tina Sanders, CEO of Phalanx Family Services.
As one of the most highly anticipated labor events, the Gentle Warrior Awards Black-Tie Gala Fundraiser is always attended by a diverse roster of labor union leadership, Chicago’s “Who’s Who” and an impressive list of museum supporters. In addition to the award presentations, the posh affair features a red carpet, live entertainment and a savory menu filled with culinary delights and desserts.
Funds generated by the awards gala will support the museum’s expansion project, which will include the creation of Randolph’s Way, the first Black Labor Tourism district in America. The project is scheduled to break ground this spring.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available via SimpleTix. For more information visit, www.aprgentlewarriorawards.com.
The NAPRPP Museum is a 501 (c) 3 a cultural institution located in the Pullman National Monument that was designated by President Barack Obama in 2015. Founded in 1995, the NAPRPPM is the only museum of its kind worldwide. The museum is a public, independently operated Black labor history museum that promotes critical lessons that cross age, class, color and gender boundaries, carrying messages essential to our society.
Successful “Gentle Warrior Awards” events play a significant role in our operational budget and enable us to continue this vital work. The promise of the 2022 fundraising event holds significant meaning. It presents a vehicle for the labor community to demonstrate, in a substantial way, appreciation for one of its own.