Celebrating Black History: IAM Spotlights Kahira Black

The IAM Human Rights Department has taken on its own identity within the IAM, with the sole purpose of advancing equality and justice. 

This February, the IAM Human Rights Department is featuring accomplished IAM members of the Black community in celebration of Black History Month. 
IAM members being honored for Black History Month are among the many trailblazers in our union.

Kahira Black
Nominated by: IAM Southern Territory

In December 2002, Kahira Black began working as a Sodexo Government Services cook at Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot in Parris Island, S.C. The following year, in 2003, she became a member of IAM Local 2775 when the charter was signed. 

From the outset of her employment, she was informed that she would be a union member, which made her particularly pleased as she had heard that her pay, benefits, and working conditions would be superior, and they were. Shortly after being hired, the Local President approached her about becoming a Shop Steward. She served in this role for a decade before running for and being elected as Local President and Chief Shop Steward. In 2021, she was appointed as Business Representative for District 112, and more recently she was elected to continue serving her District Lodge and Union.

“I’m inspired by Sister Kahira and proud to have her as Business Representative in the Southern Territory,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Craig Martin. “She is a role model for women in this organization.” 

Black History Month for Kahira represents the legacy of those who have paved the way and afforded her the opportunity to walk through the front door not only to eat, but also to reason. This was personally shown to her through her great grandmother, who was a cook for a restaurant that she could not walk into its front door to sit down and eat.

“The fight is not easy but it’s worth it,” said Black. 

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