Caucus Maps Strategy for Growth, Diversity
October/November 2001 IBEW Journal
The IBEW must adapt to the changing demographics
of North America in order to continue the work of inclusion
and empowering workers, participants in the Electrical Workers
Minority Caucus (EWMC) were told.
President Robbie Sparks retraced how the group has evolved
steadily throughout its history. "We had only one person
of color as an International Representative in 1974 and we
were the Black Caucus when we were founded," she said,
"but that obviously has changed."
Sparks, business manager of Local 2127, Atlanta, noted EWMC
participants had proudly introduced themselves as members
of virtually all of labors support groupsthe A. Philip Randolph
Institute, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Pride at
Work, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Coalition
of Labor Union Women and the Asian Pacific-American Labor
"It is a new world out there and we must appeal to a
whole new generation of diverse workers," IBEW International
President Ed Hill told the caucus. "I insist that members
of the Minority Caucus should be used to the fullest as ambassadors
of the IBEW because all of your brothers and sisters in the
IBEW need you."
Hill said the IBEW must organize minority members and "recruit
them into our training programs and give them the same bridge
to opportunity that has been available to past generations.
"We know that our union has at times failed to live
up to its own high standards and has not been the source of
brotherhood for all members at all times," Hill said.
"Any vestiges of such attitudes have no place in the
IBEW of the 21st Century."
The caucus met on Saturday, September 8, and celebrated its
first session in conjunction with an IBEW International Convention.
The EWMC meetings are normally held in January to coincide
with the Atlanta celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr.
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