34th International CBTU Convention
am pleased and honored to issue the OFFICIAL CONVENTION CALL
for the 34th International Convention of the Coalition of Black
Trade Unionists. The dates are May 25-May 30, 2005. The convention
will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, one of the fastest growing cities
in the southwest. The headquarters hotel is the Wynham Phoenix Hotel,
and the Hyatt Phoenix will accommodate the overflow attendees. The
general convention sessions will be held at the Phoenix Civic Plaza.
The theme for this convention is CBTU: Forging a New Vision
for Tough Challenges Ahead. On many levels, this years
convention will set in motion the strategic direction for CBTU for
many years to come. We must deal not only with four more years of
an administration that is openly hostile to labor rights, civil
rights, and civil liberties, we must also come to grips with an
emboldened conservative movement that is determined to impose its
right-wing agenda everywhere, from the White House to MTV.
We also have a responsibility to make our voice heard in the crucial
debate taking place now on how to make the labor movement broader,
more powerful and more relevant to the lives of working families,
especially in communities of color, the fastest growing sector of
the labor force. Let me say that it would be a serious omission
for any of the sincere and articulate advocates of reform to assume
what is in the best interest of black trade unionists and the coalition
partners with whom we work regularly.
It is essential, therefore, that we emerge from this convention
with a clear and compelling vision, an action plan for change and
empowerment, and our members energized by a renewed commitment to
help CBTU exceed our past success and meet the tough challenges
We will have a lot on our plate in the general sessions, workshops,
the national womens conference, retirees conference,
youth conference and the community toxic seminar. We will also hold
several special plenary forums and a town hall meeting to collectively
address issues that impact our interests, such as the 2004 election
and the black vote; African American-Latino relations; the future
of organized labor; trade and jobs; and solidarity with African
and Caribbean workers movements, and more.
Of course, no CBTU convention would be complete without such attractions
as our gospel concert, Sunday worship service, and awards dinner
this year with a soulful southwestern flavor.
I call on all unions to maximize membership participation and delegate
participation from their national, regional, and local levels to
help make this convention a resounding success. I look forward to
seeing you in Phoenix.