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AFL-CIO Convention Delegates Pass Resolution 18 Endorsing the
I AM PWD Campaign of AEA, AFTRA and SAG

Pittsburgh (September 16, 2009)
– I AM PWD — the Inclusion in the Arts and Media for People with Disabilities campaign of Actors’ Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild — was today endorsed by the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention delegates through Convention Resolution 18, entitled “Unions Should Give People with Disabilities a Voice and a Face.”

“It’s the dawn of a new day for workers with disabilities,” said I AM PWD national chair and SAG/AFTRA/AEA member Robert David Hall, who appeared before the more than 700 convention delegates to urge the passage of Resolution 18. “We are overjoyed that our I AM PWD campaign has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO Convention delegates, but even more meaningful is this loud show of support and solidarity from our brothers and sisters in the national labor movement.”

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt-Baker said, “The AFL-CIO is proud of our progress toward diversity in our leadership, especially when it comes to race, gender and sexual orientation, but the fact is that workers with disabilities are not yet fully included in the life, work and leadership of our labor movement.  We took action today to begin to change that, and to work toward full equality for people with disabilities in American life.” AFL-CIO Convention Resolution 18 pledges, “The AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions endorse and support the I AM PWD campaign and invite SAG, AFTRA and Equity to share its lessons.”

Beyond its endorsement of the I AM PWD campaign, Resolution 18 also declares the AFL-CIO’s intention to “make itself a model by including people with disabilities in all discussions addressing diversity and by encouraging the labor movement at all levels to do the same.”

Robert David Hall at the AFL-CIO Convention
Photo credit Steve Dietz/Sharp Image

About I AM PWD
I AM PWD is a global civil rights campaign seeking equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the entertainment and news media. I AM PWD was founded by members of Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association to bring media and public attention to the issues of media access, inclusion and accuracy for people with disabilities. You can visit I AM PWD online at IAMPWD.org

About SAG
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents nearly 120,000 actors who work in film and digital television programs, motion pictures, commercials, video games, music videos, industrials and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audiobooks, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at http://www.aftra.com

About AEA
Actors' Equity Association (AEA or "Equity"), founded in 1913, represents more than 48,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society.  Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. 

Equity is governed by its own members through an elected Council, representing principal actors, chorus actors and stage managers living in three regions: Eastern, Central and Western. Members at large participate in Equity’s governance through a system of regional boards and committees. Equity has 24 designated area liaison cities with over 100 members each. Visit us at actorsequity.org.