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The “New York Amsterdam News Tying Communities Together Labor Awards Breakfast” recognizes the outstanding contributions of key figures to the labor movement.

This year’s honorees are American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, representing the teachers who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic. President Kyle Bragg of 32BJ and his members––many of whom were the men and women who made sure our schools were safe, that our children ate and that they were able to get to school. And lastly Council of School Supervisors and Administrators President Mark Cannizzaro, whose members made sure that our school had the leadership they needed during this pandemic.


Past honorees and speakers have included Mayor Bill de Blasio, former and late Mayor David N. Dinkins, NAACP New York State Conference President Hazel Dukes, Actor Danny Glover, Actor Cynthia Nixon, 1199 SEIU President George Gresham, SEIU Local 32BJ President Hector Figueroa, and Transport Workers Union Local 100 Secretary Treasurer Earl Phillips to name a few.

As one of the nation’s oldest and most influential Black newspapers, the Amsterdam News is proud of our own historic union traditions which continue forward to this day. Unions were and are at the forefront of fighting hiring and wage equity discrimination against Blacks and other minorities. The 1935 “11-week dispute” at the Amsterdam News in Harlem during the Great Depression was the first time in U.S. history that Black workers were successful in a labor dispute with Black management.

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Reflecting that pride, each week the Amsterdam News is honored to not only feature its “Union Matters” section in the paper, but also periodic columns from labor leaders informing our reading public of the continuing importance of unions, especially to communities of color.

This year’s awards breakfast took place in person on Tuesday, Sept. 28 with limited attendance due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.