Retired UAW Vice President Gerald Bantom honored

DETROIT – Retired UAW Vice President Gerald Bantom is one of six Martin Luther King Jr. honorees to be recognized at the 7th Annual Martin Luther King

Retired UAW Vice President Gerald Bantom

Jr. Legacy March on Jan. 18 at Detroit’s Martin Luther King High School.

The event, which begins with a tour of the school at 9 a.m., a program at 10 a.m. and the march following, “honors individuals who have selflessly showcased their skills and generously contributed to making our community greater,” said Karinda Washington, MLK Legacy March co-chair and 1996 King alumna.

This year’s theme, “My Life Matters,” said Washington, was created to help encourage students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members to accept the commitment to fulfill the work of service needed to make the community and country more unified.

“Gerald Bantom has been and continues to be a solid fixture in the labor movement and a committed partner in the fight for equality for everyone,” said UAW President Dennis Williams. “It is fitting that he is being honored by the Detroit community as a leader who embodies the character and spirit of Dr. King.”

A Detroit native, Bantom retired from the UAW in 2006 after fulfilling two terms as a vice president and director of the UAW National Ford Department.

He previously served as director of UAW Region 1A, a post he was elected to in 1998. He is a life member of the NAACP, and is a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

Other 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. honorees are:

• Aretha Franklin, legendary singer and songwriter
• Bruce Millan, co-founder and artistic director of the Detroit Repertory Theater
• Marilyn Mullane, Executive Director, Michigan Legal Services
• Ted Phillips, Executive Director, United Community Housing Coalition
• Ron Scott, community activist and journalist (posthumously)