CAPITOL HILL. Thursday, November 11, 2021— In February 2020, President Trumka, AFL-CIO, agreed to receive the World Peace Prize for Solidarity sometime in that year at his iconic AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington, DC. But because his commitment to help Joe Biden win the presidency was so total he could not set a date … and then COVID-19 struck … and then the Great Man died August 5, 2021.
Fr. Sean Mc Manus —President of the Irish Peace Foundation/Irish National Caucus, and Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize—said: “We were deeply shocked and saddened by President Trumka’ death. But we could not just let the World Peace Prize for Solidarity die with him because he so richly deserved it. Indeed, he personified it. He also was most keen to help us to launch it within the Labor Movement by being its first recipient—as he did for the first two tiers of the three-fold Prize: ‘Roving Ambassador for Peace,’ (February 3, 2016) and ‘World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership.’ (June 19, 2018).
Fr. Mc Manus explained: “Now, we are delighted to announce that we will posthumously present his Prize to his wife Mrs. Barbara Trumka, and his son, Richard, Jr. and his family—at an appropriate time in Washington, DC when they are ready to receive it, safely from COVID-19.”
Fr. Mc Manus added: “Furthermore, we are proud to announce that the Prize is to be re-named, and to be known henceforth as “The Richard L. Trumka World Peace Prize for Solidarity.” This, too, is especially welcomed by the Trumka family.
Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “It is hoped we will be able to make the posthumous Presentation at the (long Covid-19 delayed) Presentation Ceremony of the World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership to International President Cecil E. Roberts, United Mine Workers of America—whenever that can be arranged. President Roberts was a long-time friend of President Trumka and performed a memorable role at his Funeral Mass.
The World Peace Prize was initiated in Seoul, South Korea in 1989 by the late visionary Reverend Dr. Han Min Su, a Presbyterian Minister who has dedicated his life to promoting world peace by bringing together East and West and representatives of all the major world religions: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Russian Orthodox, and Zoroastrianism. The inter-Faith and international World Peace Prize Awarding Council, which select Laureates for the Prize, consists of judges from all these religious groups.
The Trumka family said: “Rich believed deeply in bringing diverse groups together to address their common struggles. He knew the power that came from solidarity and he worked tirelessly to maintain it. We are honored that Rich’s name will live on, always linked with solidarity and peace because the World Peace Prize for Solidarity will be re-named in his honor the ‘Richard L. Trumka World Peace Prize for Solidarity.’Solidarity forever.”
President Shuler—the most worthy successor to President Trumka —warmly welcomed the World Peace Prize initiative in re-naming the Solidarity Prize in honor of President Trumka, stating: “Rich Trumka’s contributions to peace and prosperity around the world were countless. He was a global ambassador for worker rights, economic justice, dignity, and respect for all human beings. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor.”
And International President Cecil E. Roberts, United Mine Workers of America said: “The world lost a lion in the fight for peace and justice when we lost Rich Trumka. For each of the more than 40 years that I knew him, his first priority was to do everything he could to ensure workers had enough to eat, that they had a decent place to live and that their children had an opportunity to live in peace and freedom. I wish that he were still with us to accept this award, but our memories of him remain and guide us to continue to work for peace in his absence.”
God rest President Trumka, and may his memory be a blessing.