Local 1 Celebrates Black History Month

With The Story of 3 Inspiring Members

Two years ago, Keeva Thompson, a lunchroom manager at CPS, Kimmie Jordan, a housekeeper at the Hotel Cass, and Joanna Chambers, a linen attendant at Navy Pier, joined thousands of their union brothers and sisters in Memphis to commemorate the sanitation workers’ strike and Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination fifty years earlier. While they expected to be moved by the experience, they didn’t know the effects would be so personal and so far-reaching.

Kimmie was nervous about the actual walking. She knew there would be pain and she knew it would be a struggle, but she also knew she had no choice but to finish.

Looking back, Joanna notes that she drew strength from noticing that there were people who were much older and who had been at the original march. They were still out there marching.

For Keeva, the impact she felt was more spiritual. She felt like the march validated something she’d felt was important her whole life: “It made me say like, maybe I’m not crazy for feeling the way that I’ve always felt. To be around a bunch of people who get that this is why we are where we are – because of organizing and what [Dr King] did, it was just absolutely amazing.”

All three of them brought back that experience they shared in Memphis and embarked on a very personal journey to change their lives and their health for the better.

Thanks to Kimmie, Keeva and Joanna for sharing their stories and leading the union.

Thanks to Saverio (www.hellosaverio.com) for the beautiful photos.