The 34th EWMC Leadership Conference was hosted by the IBEW 613 EWMC Chapter in Atlanta, Georgia.
Four delegates represented IBEW 213, including Business Manager Jim Lofty, EWMC BC Chapter President Darren Danbrook, and member delegates Rob Cantrup and Mohammad Ali. This was our member delegate’ first time attending a EWMC Conference, and it was an amazing time. This year’s conference had a record number of delegates in attendance with 735 – up from just over 500 last year in Denver.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus. Originally known as the Black Caucus and the Minority Affairs, it was founded in 1974 by a small group of primarily African American IBEW members.
Read the conference summery from BC Chapter President Darren Danbrook:
The preconference started on Wednesday with the EWMC-RENEW meetings. Held every-other year, RENEW is the younger generation of the EWMC for those 35 and under. However, everyone was invited to attend in support.
It started off with national anthems, and Ticha Albino –originally from IBEW 213, and now with LU 353 sung Oh Canada. Sister Albino is with the EWMC Ontario Chapter and also on the EWMC executive board.
Several workshops were held such as Knowing the Rules of the Game, Success Signals: Effective Communications, Building Political Coalitions, and Mentoring.
Thursday was the Day of Service where over 400 delegates go out into the community to help with various projects. Jim and I helped at South View Cemetery. This was where Martin Luther King Jr. was originally buried until he was moved to the MLK Jr. Center, and where his parents are buried. We helped with 23 others to place stones that were removed to repave the entrance roadway, and shovel mulch into buckets. This is a family run cemetery founded in 1886 when room in the public cemetery’s was running out for African Americans.
Mohammad helped replace tiles and lighting for veterans. Rob helped at Canby Lane Elementary School, reading stories to students and demonstrating simple switch and three-way wiring.
On Friday all the delegates were bussed to the Martin Luther King Center and the Civil and Human Rights Center for tours.
There were special speakers throughout the conference. Keith Edwards, EWMC President, Robbie Sparks past EWMC President and one of the founders, Stacey Abrams, a voting rights activist and politician in Georgia, Atlanta Mayor Andrew Dickens, Kenneth Cooper IBEW President, and Paul Noble IO Secretary-Treasurer IBEW to name a few.
IBEW Local 613 sponsored a EWMC Delegates Reception at the Georgia Aquarium on Friday and the Awards Scholarship Dinner Gala was held at the hotel on Saturday.
We heard several reports by the chapter presidents on what the chapters accomplished throughout the past year. Not all reports were publicly spoken due to time and the remainder were posted online.
The last day was the EWMC business. Two motions were passed that marked big change for the EWMC. The first motion make gender-neutral language in all our communication and bylaws mandatory. The second was to add 2SLGBTQ+ and neurodivergent to the list of minorities in a living-document index.
This week overall was a great learning experience, letting us network with new people from all over North America and putting some faces to names. It certainly sparked some energy to grown and accomplish more in our chapter this year.
Get involved in EWMC. We meet monthly on the third Tuesday. Find more information here: ibew213.org/ibew-committees/ewmc