2021 Amistad Awards Host Committee
The Connecticut People's World Committee presented its annual Amistad Awards on Saturday December 12 2021 to mark the 102nd anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party USA, with awards being presented to Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury, Pastor Rodney Wade of Waterbury and SEIU activist Azucena Santiago.
The Former Awardees Host Committee was Rob Baril, Jan Hochadel, Wildaliz Bermudez, Rochelle Palache, John Humphries, Ken Suzuki, Shellye Davis, Louise Simmons, Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, Peggy Buchanan, Robyn Porter, Camila Bortolleto, Carolina Bortolleto, Jeanette Morrison, Dan Livingston, Juan Brito Ciro Gutierrez, Cindy Harrity, Jill Marks, Alberto Bernardez, Dan Durant, Meg Riccio, Laurie Kennington, Edwin Vargas, Jr., Fatima Rojas, Toni Harp, Kurt Westby, Delphine Clyburn, Renae Reese, John Olsen, Carmen Boudier, Anna Montalvo, Gwen Mills, Alfred L. Marder, Juan Hernandez, Kathleen Cooper, Jorge Perez, Rev Scott Marks, John Harrity, Dolores Colon, Migdalia Castro, Blair Bertaccini, Teresa Younger, Pearl Granat.
2020 Amistad awards
December 2020, from the moment the dramatic African drumming and slide show of the marches, rallies, car caravans, strikes, and election campaigns began, it was certain this would be an extraordinary and uplifting People's World Amistad Awards program.
Transformed from a large in-person statewide annual event into a virtual concert and awards, the program, “United for the World We Want—Celebrating Resilience, Solidarity, and Vision,” was held “in tribute to essential workers and all workers regardless of immigration status during the pandemic, the rise of the movement for Black lives, and the voter upsurge for democratic rights.”
The four awardees, each reflecting consistent and powerful organizing for worker rights, equality, and social justice, inspired participants with their live remarks as they received the large framed Amistad poster. The famed BODOMA Garifuna Culture Band, meanwhile, kept the spirit going with musical entertainment.
Rob Baril, president of SEIU District 1199 New England, received his award from State Rep. Robyn Porter, a former awardee also speaking by video from Georgia as part of the Unite Here team. Baril described 2020 both as an awful year from the pandemic to police killings to the economy, and also as the best of years, from the movements in response to the killings of Black lives, to the 80 million voters who rejected hate and embraced hope in the presidential election.
“Movements have to be born of hope,” he said. “I find that hope in the work of our members in home care, in group homes, nursing homes, hospitals who give from their heart every single day.”
Even as 20 of his union members and 20 family members died from COVID-19, yet “housekeepers, direct care workers, nurses, doctors, labeled as essential but treated as expendable, continue to make sure patients get the best care and make sure bosses understand they want nothing less than protections and make sure elected officials understand that Black and brown lives matter and that all health care workers lives matter.”
“Those are the seeds that will blossom into the flower of the movement that can change our state, change our country and change the world,” said Baril.
Central Connecticut DSA Closed Group
Members of the Central Connecticut Democratic Socialists of America Closed Facebook Group, as of August 18, 2017 included Rob Baril.
Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program
- Center for Third World Organizing website: Alumni Network (accessed on Aug. 16, 2010)