Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Three Connecticut labor leaders, Art Perry, Anna Montalvo and Gwen Mills, will be honored on Sunday, December 6 with the annual Amistad Award presented by the People's Weekly World. The reception, "Keep the Ball win jobs with union rights, health care, peace and equality!" will be held at 4:00 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe Street, New Haven.

The three are being recognized for their contributions in mobilizing in the workplace and community and building coalitions for social change. Also featured on the program will be music and spoken word, a holiday gift table and home made buffet.

Art Perry has been an organizer, community and political activist since working at Southbury Training School as a member of New England Health Care Employees Union / District 1199 in the 1970's. His grassroots political organizing with working families has elected many progressives to local, state and federal office. He served with 1199 for 17 years, and is now Connecticut Political Director of SEIU 32BJ Justice for Janitors where he furthers his beliefs in justice, equality and community organization.

Anna Montalvo is the first woman and the first Latina to serve as President of the 1500 member AFSCME Local 1522 in Bridgeport. As a child she experience discrimination in the schools of New York which gave her the drive to pursue her education, and help ensure that all parents and students are treated with respect and dignity. She is a vice-president of AFSCME Council 4 and active in many community and labor organizations, and is recipient of numerous awards.

Gwen Mills was raised in new Haven. In the 1980's she participated with CISPES (The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), and later spent a year in Mozambique working with local groups to re-establish activist organizations at the close of the civil war. In 2000 Gwen returned to New Haven where she has served as a lead organizer with the CT Center for a New Economy (CCNE). In 2007 she became Political Field Director of Unite-Here unions for Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The event, held on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party USA, will kick off a 90th year cultural project with artists for social change. Performers include labor singer Bill Collins of the Rabble Rousers, Mexican guitarist Beto Castillo, spoken word and jazz by Ras Mo Moses, Baub Bidon, Jeff Fuller and Richard Hill, and others. In addition, a video celebrating 90 years of struggle and moving forward will be presented. Joelle Fishman will offer a call to action.Donation is $10 or what you can afford. For tickets and information call 203-624-8664.

No comments: