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Friday, February 24, 2012

Fighter for labor rights at New Haven's People's World celebration Sunday

NEW HAVEN — A fighter for the rights of labor will be the guest speaker at the People’s World’s celebration of Black History Month on Sunday.

Raglan George, executive director of District Council 1707, AFSCME, in New York, he serves on the national executive board of his union and is a long-time community activist, according to a press release.

The 38th annual African-American History Month Celebration will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at the New Haven People’s Center, 37 Howe St.

The son of Caribbean immigrants, George was raised in Harlem “where he learned that the greatest contribution anyone can make to society is to fight for labor rights, peace and justice,” according to the release. “With these convictions, he embarked on a journey of political, social and labor activism to eradicate the ills of our society.”

George rose to become vice president of the Fur Leather Machine Workers Union Joint Board (now United Food and Commercial Workers Union) and executive director of Day Care/Head Start at DC1707. He is a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and Rainbow Coalition, a member of the advisory board of the Guyanese-American Workers United and vice chairman of the Coalition of Labor Union in Education.

Events this weekend’s will include a tribute to the legacy of Henry Winston, who organized African-American youth in the South in the 1930s and became national chairman of the Communist Party USA in 1966. A video of remarks by Angela Davis, a 1960s activist, at Winston’s centennial will be shown.

The event will open with the presentation of prizes and certificates of appreciation to participants in the high school arts and writing competition, “What is your vision for the future? How can being involved in the struggle for freedom and equality bring positive change to your life and the larger community?”

Drumming will be performed by Brian Jarawa Gray and the Hispanic Heritage Dancers and New Elm City Dream will perform dances. Children’s posters drawn on Martin Luther King’s birthday will be on exhibit.

The program will include a light buffet. Tickets are $5 or what you can afford. For information and to reserve a ticket, call 203-624-8664.

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