Tefere Gebre, AFL-CIO Executive VP, to keynote our 2014 convention

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Convention will be held Sept. 11-12 in Raleigh, NC

Our 57th Annual Convention will be held at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown, 3415 Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609 on Thursday and Friday, September 11-12, 2014.

Get more convention details including flyers, hotel, and registration.

We are thrilled to announce that national AFL-CIO Executive Vice President, Tefere Gebre, will deliver the keynote address at our banquet, 7:00 p.m. Thursday (following a reception at 6:30).

Register now to attend the reception/banquet with Tefere Gebre.

To say that Tefere overcame long odds to rise to the third-ranking leadership position in the American labor movement would be an understatement.

Born in Ethiopia in 1968, Tefere escaped his war-torn country at age 14, fleeing on foot to neighboring Sudan, a journey that took weeks. From there, Tefere immigrated to the United States as a political refugee and was settled in Los Angeles.

“I wanted to go to America to be free,” Gebre said. “That America that I wanted to go to was one that did not fire union organizers or deport the hard-working parents of children.

In college, Tefere took a job working the night shift at UPS, his first union job, and he has dedicated his life to the labor movement ever since, organizing to build power for workers in one of the most conservative counties in America and eventually becoming Executive Director of the Orange County Federation of Labor.

Tefere is the first immigrant and the first leader of a state or local labor federation to be elected as an officer of the national AFL-CIO.

During his speech accepting his nomination at the AFL-CIO convention last Fall, Tefere said, “This is not about me.”

“It’s a call from a new labor movement unmistakably saying no matter what your accent, no matter what your skin color, no matter how far away you were born from this country, not only join the labor movement – come lead it.” — Tefere Gebre,

Watch Tefere’s moving acceptance speech: