Rep. Ilhan Omar Among Speakers at Historic 50th Annual National Education Conference

Host, A. Philip Randolph Institute, One of Nation’s Premier Labor Rights Organization

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) addressed members of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) last week in Bloomington, Minnesota, near Minneapolis. APRI serves as one of the nation’s largest organizations of African-American labor union leaders and activists.

Omar invigorated the crowd that came out to the conference with her proclamation of continuing her fight despite multiple death threats and critique on the national level. Omar also ensured that she has no intention of bowing down to the current administration.

“If someone needs you to down on a knee to make themselves feel tall, then there’s something wrong with them, not you,” Omar said. “I got in this ring because I’m ready to fight.”

The APRI held its 50th Annual National Education Conference on Aug. 7-11 at the Radisson Blue Mall of America Hotel.

Former Congressman and current Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison also addressed the group.

(Jon Levine/A. Philip Randolph Institute)
Former Congressman and current Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison addresses members and supporters the nation’s largest organization of Black labor union leaders and activists at the National Education Conference in Bloomington. (Jon Levine/A. Philip Randolph Institute)

Hundreds of national and local labor union activists, celebrities, political and civic engagement leaders took part in the conference including Actor Danny Glover and Sirius XM talk show host Joe Madison.  Madison known as “The Black Eagle’ held an interview with Jacqueline Jackson, wife of civil rights icon, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and their son Jonathan. She recently published the book “Loving You, Thinking of You, Don’t Forget to Pray: Letters to My Son in Prison,” a collection of letters she wrote to her son Jesse Jackson, Jr. during his incarceration.

APRI National President Clayola Brown said the group continues to work to build awareness and drive community engagement to find solutions to social and racial injustices.

“As we know from the 2018 elections, APRI activists and our allies have been fundamental and essential to educating, organizing and moving political and legislative victories,” Brown said. “With increased education, measurable programs, strong community partnerships and organizational development, we will recover and we will advance.”

The A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) is a labor rights organization founded in 1965 by A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin. It has more than 110 chapters nationwide with membership from the nation’s top unions and community organizations. Brown, the first female to head the organization, serves as the current president.

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