Last week, I joined Kim Bobo at the National Employment Lawyers Association’s (NELA) Conference. Every year that I attend the conference, I always end up teary-eyed and inspired by the stories of the workers and worker advocates honored at the opening plenary.
This year was extra special. NELA wanted to include a community leader in the mix of honorees, and according to one of the conference committee members, the choice was obvious: Kim Bobo.
NELA President Patricia Barasch presented Kim with the award, acknowledging her and IWJ’s contributions to the worker justice movement and particularly the fight against wage theft.
Patricia described Kim as a “warrior in the battlefield of justice for workers.”
“People like you help make our work possible,” Kim said. “You all are doing really great work representing workers, and we need to find ways to work more closely together.”
Other honorees included former Tyson employee, John Hithon, and former Federal Aviation Administration employee, Mary Rose Diefenderfer.
One of the workers, John and his attorney were recognized for winning a 16-year discrimination case against Tyson Foods. “John never gave up,” his lawyer Alicia Haynes said. “Even when things were going against our favor, he stayed committed to fighting for what was right.”
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“What keeps me from falling into the abyss of hatred and chaos, is love and peace,” John said. “It has been my belief that God’s love and peace has pulled me through and enabled me to stand.”