Moving Forward with Purpose” is the 41st annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized by 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, with support from the Strong Memorial Hospital Division of The University of Rochester Medical Center. The keynote speaker will be New York State Senator Samra Brouk, with performances by members of 1199 SEIU and community groups. This year the event will be held virtually on Zoom.

Dr. King played a key role in the history of 1199. He spoke to the union’s Delegates just days before being assassinated during the Memphis sanitation strike.  In the wake of his death, his widow, Coretta Scott King became 1199’s national chairperson. She called on 1199 to expand to more locations. The Rochester union was a product of that effort in 1973.

Union members have considered Dr. King’s 1968 address to be a covenant – the union’s mission: to struggle for justice and peace for all people.

41 years ago, a small group of union workers at Strong Memorial decided to mark Dr. King’s birthday to remind themselves and younger workers of the importance of Dr. King in their lives and in the history of their union. At first, the event was held in the hospital’s chapel.  It later grew to use other spaces, and in recent years, the event has taken place in Whipple Auditorium, the medical center’s largest, and has been cosponsored by the hospital administration.

On Monday we continue that tradition. Please join us for this important event.