2020 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference

Featured Speakers

Liz Shuler
Richard Trumka
President, AFL-CIO
Liz Shuler
Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO

Tefere Gebre
Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO

Dora Cervantes
General Secretary-Treasurer, IAM

Glynda C. Carr
President, CEO and Co-founder, Higher Heights for America
Jeanné L. Lewis
Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Dr. L. Toni Lewis
Founder, Liberation Health Strategies;
Former Chair, SEIU Healthcare.
Gwen McKinney
Founder and President, McKinney & Associates

Terrence Melvin
Secretary-Treasurer, New York State AFL-CIO; President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

Leon Russell
Chaiman, NAACP Board of Directors
With all the critical electoral and democratic work ahead of us in the new year, our theme for the 2020 MLK Conference is "Give Us the Ballot," drawn from Dr. King's pivotal voting rights speech delivered at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom gathering in Washington, D.C., in 1957. More than 60 years after Dr. King laid out for the nation the innumerable gains that would be made possible if every citizen had full access to the voting booth, we are still facing voter disenfranchisement at alarming levels.

All types of conniving methods are still being used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters. The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition. And so our most urgent request to the president of the United States and every member of Congress is to give us the right to vote. Give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We in the labor movement know that ensuring full voting access and a fair count of every ballot is the most important work we are doing and we are hopeful that when we convene Jan. 17–19, 2020, in Washington, D.C., we will come with our sleeves rolled up and ready to work!