Desiree L. Hill is a single mother, grandmother, and soon-to-be great-grandmother who has worked with the public the majority of her life.

In 1981 she started working at Acme Markets. After 29 and a half years, Desiree retired from Acme, if only for 2 hours, and began working with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) International Union as a Union Organizer for Region 1. At UFCW, she continues her work building and strengthening unions as an Organizer.

Percy Winters, Jr is President of AFSCME Local 88, representing Multnomah County employees, the second-largest union in Portland, Oregon with a membership of over 4,200.

Kevin Bradshaw has been employed with Kellogg Memphis for 20 years and now serves as Vice President of BCTGM (Bakery Confectionery Tobacco Grainmillers), Local 252G. During his tenure in the organization, he has also served as President, Steward and Trustee.

Ceretta Smith is a proud Army Veteran, mother, wife, small business owner, and Faith Leader in her community. She's also proud to have called Grovetown, Georgia home for the past fifteen years, where she lives with her husband, Retired Sergeant First Class Sterling Vandolph Smith. At her small business, she is committed to molding and developing future leaders of our workforce within our community. And it’s here that she teaches the values of compassionate leadership, guided by the adage:

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Bill Fletcher Jr has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labor movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labor unions in addition to serving as a senior staff person in the national AFL-CIO.

Eric Young served as the National President of the American Federation of Government Employees, Council of Prison Locals, a position to which he was elected in 2013. As National President, Eric brings more than 25 years of public service to the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons and AFGE. The Council of Prison Locals represents more than 33,000 federal correctional workers at 122 Bureau of Prisons facilities in 36 states and Puerto Rico.

Oregon AFSCME is kicking off Black History Month with our "Black In Labor" series, highlighting Black labor leaders from across the world. Some you may know, some you may not, but all will inspire! 

Elise Bryant is the executive director of the Labor Heritage Foundation. After retiring from her professorship at the National Labor College, Bryant launched a consulting practice, the E.L.I.S.E (Education, Leadership, Inspiration, Solidarity and Excellence) Consortium.

If there was ever a need for us to reignite the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the time is now. Today we celebrate the birth, the life, and the sacrifice of one of the world’s most influential leaders in modern American history. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, a Baptist minister, civil rights activist, HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) graduate, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was most notably to AFSCME, a voice for labor rights.