Rev. Addie Wyatt
Trailblazer Addie Wyatt was the first African-American woman to hold a senior office in an American labor union—at both the local and international level. First elected President of her local meat-packing union in Chicago in the 1950s, she rose all the way to International Vice President of the United Food and Commercial Workers in 1976. Known for her patience and persistence, Wyatt was a conciliator who built bridges for greater inclusion of women and minorities within the labor movement. A passionate advocate for women's rights, she co-founded the Coalition of Labor Union Women and was named to the United States Commission on the Status of Women by Eleanor Roosevelt. An ordained minister, Wyatt worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to support the Montgomery Bus Boycott and later counseled a young community organizer named Barack Obama as he came up the ranks in Chicago.