A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum Re-Establishes Its National Advisory Council
Today, the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum (APRPPM) announced they have reestablished the museum's National Advisory Council. "Previously members of the APRPPM's, NAC, joined us from varied sectors such as: Labor, Academia, Cultural organization, and the Business community from around the country," said David A. Peterson Jr. the museum's President. Over the past two years we have concluded that the longevity and sustainability of the museum is tied directly to a strong inner and outer circle of support. The re-established NAC will help us to do just that.
"We have just concluded a month long surge of overwhelming local and national media attention because of the successful founding anniversary celebration that we hosted, honoring the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters labor Union, and their connection, to the 1963 March on Washington," said, Dr Lyn Hughes, the museum's founder. The event was attended by the who's who in Illinois politics, and the countless visitors who traveled from other states to participate in the celebration. There has been a surge of interest nationwide in the legacy of A. Philip Randolph and the Porters' legacy, and there is new-found attentiveness that has emerged in the museum's most valuable asset, the authenticity in our presentation of the story that we tell.
"These factors, combined with the recent interest displayed by the National Park Service, in those stories, and the Pullman community indicate that the timing of the APRPPM's decision on the reestablishment of the NAC is right on point," Hughes said. The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is the only museum in the nation that bears the name of A. Philip Randolph. Hughes further states her opinion that, "If the A Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum does not become more aggressive in its actions, to capture, preserves and build upon that important history now, the fact is others will end up taking control of the niche it took us eighteen years to perfect. That is why the leadership and guidance of a strong energetic NAC is crucial at this time."
The NAC ceased to exist after the departure of former museum president Edward D. Lewis of the machinist union, who was transferred to Kansas City. Lewis, now retired has agreed to help reestablish the valuable council for the museum. The council is being Re-established, with a core group of both seasoned individuals, together with new generation of leadership.
The Inaugural members of the council announced today are: Edward D. Lewis, Kansas City, Grand lodge retiree, of the Machinist Union, Alvis Martin, Field Director Illinois AFL-CIO, Sandra Robinson Illinois Nurses Association, Cory Barnes, founder of the civic engagement consulting firm, Ndoto Strategies, Carlo Bishop President of UAW, local 551, and descendants, of Pullman Porters from Chicago and around the country. Lewis will periodically return to Chicago during the reconstruction of the museums council and to attend the quarterly council meetings.
Peterson stated, "during its existence, the NAC provided the critical, strategic direction for the museum that enabled it to operate productively and most important, the guidance, that helped us to maintain a bottom line in the black. There was much creativity and collective wisdom in their direction," he said. "And that has everything to do with our still being around for eighteen years."
Lewis says, "I am looking forward to returning to Chicago and enthusiastically anticipating lending my full support to help create and this prestigious body of individuals and to help to further stabilize this valuable institution, and we have only just begun."