Delegates from Teamsters Local 769 visit 2013 TNBC in Atlanta

TNBC1In its 38th year now, the Teamsters National Black Caucus held it’s annual educational conference and banquet in Atlanta Georgia and representatives from Local 769 were in attendance. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta from August 14th-18th.

Attending this year conference were Local 769 Vice President Woodrow Wilson, Trustees Derek Moore and Shirley Tarpley, and Retiree Committee Vice President Tyronne Brewster.

Woody Wilson, Derek Moore, and Tyronne Brewster

Woody Wilson, Derek Moore, and Tyronne Brewster

The city of Atlanta served as a wonderful backdrop for this years event. Many took advantage of the opportunity to see the sites and visit some of Atlanta’s historical locations, some of which have direct ties to the labor and civil rights movements like the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. This year held even more significance as it marked the 50th year anniversary of the March on Washington, when Dr. King gave his empowering, motivational ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.

The TNBC got it’s start right here in Local 769’s backyard in 1971 where its initial meeting was held in Miami, Florida at the 20th International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention. At that convention a small group of black delegates, guests and friends attending the convention, met to discuss the lack of black participation in the convention. Since then, the TNBC serves to uphold the principles of the Teamsters’ movement and to foster the opportunity for all Teamsters to serve in leadership capacities throughout the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its affiliates.

“The theme of this years event was ‘Freedom Fighters Still Fighting the Good Fight’” reports Woody Wilson. “It was chosen because this year is 150 years after the ratification of the Emancipation Proclamation and 50 years after Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech during the march on Washington.”

Derek Moore and his family in front of Dr. Kings house

Derek Moore and his family in front of Dr. Kings house

Although the theme of the event was rich with history, much of the discussion was on the battles that lie ahead. TNBC Chairman Al Mixon provided the details on the anti-worker laws that are in place and are in need of change. He explained in-depth how the Koch brothers are providing secret money to Congress and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). “Someone has to pay for these changes to take place. We are the future and we must fight for the next generation,” Mixon said. “The Freedom Fighters before us fought, and many of them lost their lives. But that fight put us in the positions we hold today. We must not forget how we got here.”

Birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Local 769 Trustee Derek Moore said “We need to remember to never give up the fight, we must continue on.” and at the end of the conference Al Mixon asked the audience, “WHO ARE WE?”

“TEAMSTERS!” shouted the audience in response.

…and Teamsters never give up the fight!

Written by Bryan Bezpiaty
with special thanks to Woody Wilson and Derek Moore for their contributions
additional sources credited the TNBC and IBT websites