Black History Month Feature: Thelma Clements, President of APRI Philadelphia

Throughout Black History Month, we have featured many leaders from the past and present.  These are people we are proud to call our union sisters and brothers, and many of them fellow Pennsylvanians.  As we close out the month of February, we would like to share our appreciation for our union sister, Thelma Clements. She serves as a vice president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Executive Council, a member of our Civil and Human Rights Committee, and as the President of the Philadelphia chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute.

The Labor Movement is held together by women like Thelma Clements.  Her commitment is a source of inspiration, but the best person to describe the motive behind her work is Thelma:

“I’ve been a part of the labor movement going on 20 years, and in those years, I have seen organized labor accomplish some incredible things.  I am proud to be a member of the Philadelphia APRI Chapter and to be joined in solidarity with the phenomenal fellow members of this great organization. With my fellow members, I have worked to end inequality and disparity in our community.   I have been inspired to march and speak out because we are all called to do what we know is right.”

“In the debate on discrimination that we are still having in the 21st century, the question should be, ‘is it right to treat a person differently based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation?’  In the grand scheme of things, whether politics, organized labor, or on a platform of current issues, let us not get caught up in who is right, but what is right. If you follow what is right, there is no need to worry about who is right because what is right is being done.  If we are honest with ourselves, we will reach the right conclusion, that it is always right TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT”, stated Thelma Clements. 

Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO President Pat Eiding remarked on Thelma’s contributions stating, “Thelma Clements is a person of compassion and leadership.  While working full-time as an Administrative Assistant to the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, she serves as Chapter President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and Co-Chairs our Civil and Human Rights Committee.  Thelma is always finding ways to make life a little better for everyone.”

We at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO could not agree more.  Thank you, Thelma Clements.