Speaker Welch Receives “Gentle Warrior Award”

Speaker Welch Receives “Gentle Warrior Award”
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Speaker Welch Receives “Gentle Warrior Award” (Chicago, IL) — House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch was recently honored with the 2024 A. Phillip Randolph “Gentle Warrior Award,” a prestigious award reserved for those who are champions for people of color and the most vulnerable. Speaker Welch was celebrated alongside Civil Rights icon, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., last week at a gala and fundraiser for the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum.

“Equality is the heart and essence of democracy, freedom, and justice. A. Philip Randolph didn’t just say those words, he embodied them,” said Speaker Welch. “To receive an award that bears the name of such an influential figure in our nation’s history, is truly an honor. I know that I’m in the position I am today, as Illinois’ first Black speaker, because of champions like Mr. Randolph, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and so many others who came before me. I also know that is my responsibility in this role to continue breaking down barriers for working families and to further advance our shared mission of equality of opportunity for all Illinoisans.

“I want to thank my greatest support system – my wife, ShawnTe, my children, and my family for allowing me to pursue my dreams and always believing in me. I also want to thank David Peterson and Dr. Hughes for selecting me for this honor and for keeping A. Philip Randolph’s legacy alive. He told us that ‘freedom is never given; it is won’ and together we will continue building a better, more equitable future for all.”

The NAPRPPM is the only museum to bear the name A. Philip Randolph, founder of the first Black labor union in the nation. The “Gentle Warrior Award” is presented to those who exhibit similar commitment and tenacity that Randolph displayed throughout his life of advocacy.

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“To receive the A. Philip Randolph ‘Gentle Warrior Award’ is an incredible honor and not something we take lightly during our selection process,” said Dr. Lyn Hughes, Founder of the NAPRPPM. “The significance of Mr. Randolph’s work transcends race, gender, and ethnic boundaries.

“Candidates are selected based on the positive difference they make in the communities they serve. Admirably, Speaker Welch, who is still a relatively young man, has already established an impressive portfolio of groundbreaking, impactful work.

“Not only did he make history by becoming the first African American Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, but he truly cares about people and will do what is necessary to serve them. Young Black males everywhere need to know about him, for he is indeed a role model and worthy of this distinguished honor.”

Speaker Welch Receives “Gentle Warrior Award”

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