Mark Esters

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Mark Esters


Mark Estes is a St.Louis Missouri activist.

2011 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

"We are going to take back what they stole from us," Robin Acree, executive director of Mexico, Missouri, based GRO-Grassroots Organizing told union members, community activist, faith and political leaders here at the 19th annual Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast.

The annual breakfast is organized in honor of Hershel Walker, a lifelong member of the Communist Party USA, trade union leader and community activist, who was tragically killed in a car-wreck in 1991. Walker was on his way to deliver petitions to help save 4,000 jobs at the local Chrysler plant when a drunk-driver struck his car.

The annual breakfast is organized in honor of Hershel Walker, a lifelong member of the Communist Party USA, trade union leader and community activist, who was tragically killed in a car-wreck in 1991. Walker was on his way to deliver petitions to help save 4,000 jobs at the local Chrysler plant when a drunk-driver struck his car.

"We have to be united," Acree continued. "Faith, labor, community, we have to get organized."

2011 Breakfast awardees included Shannon Duffy, business manager of the St. Louis Newspaper Guild; Bernie Hayes, WGNU radio talk-show host and author of The Death of Black Radio; and John Ebeling, first vice president of the Greater St. Louis Central Labor Council, vice president of the Communications Workers of America Local 6300.

The breakfast, held on Saturday, July 9, is usually held in early May, as close to May 1 as possible. However, this year, organizers wanted to hold the event closer to July 4. As Tony Pecinovsky, Missouri / Kansas People's World Bureau Chief, said, "We need to reclaim July 4 from the right wing. We are the real patriots. We want to make our country better."

The Breakfast was attended by members of the St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Communications Workers of America Local 6300, the CWA city council, St. Louis Jobs with Justice, the American Postal Workers' Union, Workers' United, the St. Louis Newspaper Guild, GRO-Grassroots Organizing and other organizations.

Towards the end of her remarks, Agree added, "If you got, give it! This is a fundraiser." The 19th Annual Hershel Walker Awards Breakfast raised over $7,000 for the People's World.[1]

Honoring Lew Moye

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After 35 years at the helm, longtime labor leader and social justice activist Lew Moye stepped down as president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, effective Nov. 1 2014. CWA Local 6355’s Mark Esters, vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, will assume the leadership role.

Moye and St. Marks Family Church, which has served as a safe haven and central meeting place during the unrest in Ferguson, were honored Oct. 18 at CBTU’s 28th Annual Ernst and De Verne Calloway Awards banquet.

Moye is known in the St. Louis region and nationally for his progressive activism in the labor movement and the African American community.

“It is an honor to follow behind a legend like Lew,” Esters said. “Those are big shoes to try to fit into. It’s a big lift.”

Attendees at the event included CBTU International President Terry Melvin, CBTU founder and President Emeritus Bill Lucy, Missouri State Representatives Clem Smith, and Karla May, and CBTU Chapter Vice President Mark Esters. [2]

St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Executive Board, as of December 2014;[3]

CBTU STL Youth Committee

2015 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

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On Saturday, May 2, 2015, the Missouri/Kansas Friends of the People's World hosted the 23rd Annual Hershel Walker 'Peace and Justice' Awards breakfast to recognize outstanding leaders and activists, and their work towards creating a more just and equitable society.

A diverse crowd of 120 union, community, peace and faith leaders joined together at 9:30 a.m., at the Communication Workers of America, Local 6300, union hall for a morning filled with conversations and solidarity.

"This is an awards ceremony for activists," said Nicholas James, a Service Employees International Union collective bargaining rep. "This is amazing. Usually, only famous people get awards. That we take the time to recognize the everyday, ordinary people struggling to change our world is what makes this Awards Breakfast so special."

on ceremony.

Receiving the 2015 Hershel Walker 'Peace and Justice' Awards were:

  • Rep. Tommie Pierson (D-69), pastor at Greater Saint Marks Church (in Ferguson), and retired United Auto Workers Union member.

In a beautiful moment of remembrance, Mark Esters, recounted the amazing life and work of James Raines. A tireless advocate for the working class and a gifted people's reporter, James touched the lives of thousands through his impressive career fighting for a better world. Esters presented his family with the 'Peace and Justice' award as well as a Missouri House Resolution submitted by State Rep. Clem Smith honouring Raines' life, work, and dedication to public service. James is survived by his wife, Wendy, daughter, Emmaline; and parents, Jim and Sue..[4]

African American Equality Commission

In July 2015, Members of African American Equality Commission Communist Party USA FaceBook group included Mark Esters.

Closed working group for the African American Equality Commission of the CP USA. This is a space for members of the commission to brainstorm, communicate, and work through ideas between official meetings.[5].

St. Louis Workers’ Education Society Advisory Board

In 2015 the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society Advisory Board consisted of;

Calloway Awards Banquet 2015

St. Louis City License Collector Mavis Thompson and Claude Cummings, International Vice President of Communication Workers of America District 6 (CWA) were honored at the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) annual Ernest and DeVerne Calloway awards dinner Oct. 24 2015 at the Marriott Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis.

Thompson was recognized for her work on voter protection and human and civil rights advocacy as an attorney with the Mound City Bar Association, and for continuing to support her constituents’ right to vote and supporting of working families.

Cummings work as CWA Vice President of District 6 included supporting Missouri workers efforts to defeat Missouri HB116 (right-to-work). Cummings also supports raising the minimum wage and protecting workers right to bargain with their employer. Cummings is a member of CBTU International Executive Council and currently resides in Houston, TX.

Keynote speaker U.S. Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr. urged voters and union members not to allow a dysfunctional Republican led congress to turn the nation backwards with bad deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Other speakers included: former Mayor Freeman Bosley, Jr.; Senior Attorney for the Advancement Project Denise Lieberman; Pastor, State Representative and candidate for Missouri lt. governor Tommie Pierson; CBTU International Executive Council Treasurer Gwend Johnson; Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis; CWA Local 6355 President Bradley Harmon; and Coordinator of Champions for Missouri Jobs with Justice Martin Rafanan.

“We are about building coalitions within labor and community groups to continue to fight for livable wages and protecting workers right to bargain collectively with their employer,” said CBTU STL President Mark Esters. “We will be a voice for the voiceless.”[7]

References