CBTU National Women's Committee

The CBTU National Women's Committee conducts conferences and workshops that focus on the needs of African American women in the trade union movement. The committee's major event is sponsoring the National Women's Conference, which is held annually in conjunction with CBTU's national convention. The CBTU Women's Conference is an uplifting, healing and empowering experience. What began as one workshop in 1982 has now grown to an all-day women's conference, attended by more than 1,000 participants - women and men, black and white, from all backgrounds. The popularity of the women's conference has made it an integral part of the national CBTU convention.

The conference features a health fair for women, a book fair, diverse workshops, dynamic speakers and down-to-earth sisterhood. Major topics addressed include education, politics, leadership development, youth and the criminal justice system, and health - particularly the importance of raising the awareness of black women about serious diseases and the importance of regular check-ups.

Past speakers at the conference have included many
prominent women of color:

  • Dr. Dorothy Height, president emeritus,
    National Council of Negro Women
  • The Honorable Alexis Herman, U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.)
  • Dr. Julianne Malveaux, economist and syndicated columnist
  • Gloria Johnson, president, Coalition of Labor Union Women
  • Linda Chavez Thompson, AFL-CIO executive vice president
  • Lottie Shackleford, vice chair, Democratic National Committee

The Annual Awards Luncheon pays tribute to women who have made a difference in their chapters, unions or communities. Chapters recognize members who have faithfully served the women's committee. The names and accomplishments of those women who have retired are added to the Trail Blazers roster.

The women's committee presents the prestigious Addie L. Wyatt Award to a deserving activist. Rev. Addie Wyatt was the first chair of the National Women's Committee, and served as co-chair as well as the inspirational and spiritual leader of the committee. Her leadership helped developed and establish our Women's Committee and her legacy lived on through the scholarship and mission of the committee.

Members on the women's committee are added by regional election or appointment by the CBTU Executive Council. During the year, committee members work with their regions and chapters. Each CBTU chapter is responsible for establishing a Wellness Network. Information for this program is available from any committee representative or from Denise Berkley, the National Chair of the women's committee.

National Chair
Denise Berkley (CSEA/AFSCME)
CSEA Headquarters
143 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210