Fr. Sean McManus, Elizabeth Powell, Esther Lopez, and Barbara Flaherty
Liz Shuler, Elizabeth Powell, Esther Lopez, Barbara Flaherty, and Fr. Sean McManus
CAPITOL HILL. Tuesday, February 5, 2019— Two top women labor leaders were honored today with the World Peace Prize for Labor Leadership.
The ceremony took place, appropriately, at the AFL-CIO Headquarters, Washington, DC, thanks to the graciousness of President Richard L. Trumka.
The two Honorees were Elizabeth Powell, Secretary-Treasurer, American Postal Worker Union (APWU) and Esther Lopez, Secretary-Treasurer, United Food Commercial Workers (UFCW).
World Leader and Master Planner, Rev. Dr. Han Min Su, founded the World Peace Prize in Seoul, South Korea, in 1989. Dr. Han is a Presbyterian Minister.
The presentation was made by Fr. Sean McManus—Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize and President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus— and the ceremony was chaired by Barbara Flaherty, a Judge of the World Peace Prize Awarding Council, and Executive Vice President of the Irish National Caucus.
Fr. McManus stated: “When Barbara Flaherty and I joined the World Peace Prize Awarding Council in 2013, we set out to achieve two objectives and to have the International-InterFaith Awarding Council endorse these objectives. The First Objective was this: to assert the fundamental truth and basic principle, that peace is the fruit of justice—that working for peace means, in fact, working for social justice. Without justice, there is no love. No Faith. No equality. No fairness. No decency. Without justice, there is no love of God, and, certainly, no love of neighbor. And our Second Objective was this: to firmly place the American Labor Movement in the category of those who work for peace because the Labor Movement works for justice for working men and women—all the time, every day, year after year.”
Fr. Mc Manus also explained: “People of faith believe we are on this earth to worship God, to do His will and to build up God’s Kingdom on earth in justice, solidarity and respect for every son and daughter of God. Not only that, but people of no faith and no religion can agree with the centrality of social justice. All people of good-will, all fair-minded people, recognize that without justice, civilized society cannot stand; fair treatment cannot stand; fair employment cannot stand, and a just and living wage cannot stand.
So … people of faith can be certain that working for justice is doing God’s work on earth. And people of no faith can be certain that working for justice is doing the decent and loving thing. And all of us can be certain that anything that does injustice —anything that discriminates, marginalizes, demeans, devalues and disrespects human beings— cannot be God’s work, or cannot be the decent and loving thing to do.”
The Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Liz Shuler, was one of the speakers. She gave a stirring account of the labor record and achievements of the two Honorees.
The World Peace Prize Awarding Council consists of 14-member Board of International and Interfaith judges. The Board is comprised of representatives of the world’s nine major religions: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Russian Orthodox, and Zoroastrianism.