What I Do
Deborah Cannada, Librarian - West Side Elementary School, Charleston, WV.
New Orleans, LA
During her six years on the AFL-CIO Executive Council, Vice President Sumi Sevilla Haru has been a committed and creative advocate for Screen Actors Guild members, for all entertainers, for all professionals and for all working people. She has been a vital voice advocating the importance of communication and the critical role of culture in building America's union movement.
Born of Filipino immigrant parents in Orange, N.J., Haru now is a producer with the City of Los Angeles' Cultural Affairs Department. Throughout her career, she has worked to expand opportunities for entertainers of color. She co-founded and formerly chaired SAG's Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee. She also co-founded and led the Association of Asian Pacific American Artists and has served on the executive board of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and as co-chair of the Rainbow Coalition Commission on Fairness in the Media. Haru first joined the SAG national board in 1974 and was national recording secretary under two presidents. She also served as acting president in 1995.
When Haru was elected an AFL-CIO vice president in October 1995, she became the first Asian American to serve on the AFL-CIO Executive Council. Since then, she has lifted her voice for women, workers suffering from disabilities, Asian Pacific Americans, gays and lesbians, and professional workers in all occupations.
In addition to her work as a producer, Haru is a talented actor, journalist, writer and poet. The breadth of her experience and concerns has enriched the Executive Council and the leadership of America's unions.
On behalf of the 13 million working women and men who have a voice at work through the unions of the AFL-CIO, the Executive Council expresses its gratitude and appreciation to Vice President Haru for her service to the labor movement and the cause of economic and social justice.
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