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A. Philip Randolph “Gentle Warrior Awards” Returns as a gala cocktail reception

The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum (NAPRP- PM) will mark its 27th anniversary, hosting the “Gentle Warrior Awards” Gala Cocktail Reception, presented by Wintrust.

The museum’s premiere fundraiser is Saturday, February 26, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Hyde Park Bank, 1525 East 53rd St. in Chicago.

“NAPRPPM museum is the only one of its kind in the world,” said the museum’s founder Dr. Lyn Hughes.

“We honor and celebrate exclusively the contributions of African Americans in America’s labor movement. That is precisely why we must preserve the history and continue to tell the full, authentic story of those who paved the way for African Americans in organized labor.”

The museum is the only one in existence that bears the name of A. Philip Randolph, founder of the first Black labor union in the nation, The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP).

The porters union was the first Black union to be chartered under the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the first Black union to win collective bargaining agreement with a major U.S. corporation, the powerful Pullman Company.

Randolph’s unshakable courage, sacrifice, and brilliant leadership re- moved barriers for Blacks in organized labor, and enabled the porters to create the foundation for the Black middle class. One of Ameri- ca’s foremost labor and civil rights leaders, Randolph became known as the “Gentle Warrior.” Organizers of the Gentle Warrior Awards, a black-tie gala cocktail reception, will transform the traditional backdrop of the financial institution into an event complete with red carpet, live entertainment by Emmy award winner and international vocalist Joan Collaso, dancing, and culinary bites and desserts. Hosea Sanders of ABC 7 Chicago is the guest host.

The Gentle Warrior Award is presented to individuals who exhibit similar commitment, focus, and tenacity that Randolph displayed throughout his career.

This year’s Gentle Warrior Awardees are Executive Vice President, National AFL-CIO, Tefere Gebre, and IBEW Local 134 Business Manager Donald Finn.

The Change Agent 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 Jonathan Swain, president of LINK Unlimited Scholars and president of Kimbark Beverage Shoppe; Alexandra Simms, president of APS & Associates; Mattie Butler, founder and executive director of Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors; Nicholas Smith, 34th District State Representative; and Isreal Idonije, former NFL player and founder of IF Charities.

“The pandemic has indeed impacted the way events are being held,” added Hughes. “We want to ensure that our guests are safe, so proof of vaccination or negative COVID 19 test results will be required.”

The funds generated by the gala will contribute to the mobilization funds required to jump-start the museum’s expansion project, scheduled for spring 2022. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available via Eventbrite. For more information about NAPRPP, visit www.aprpullmanportermuseum.org.

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