By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
The International Women’s History Month Red Carpet for Social Justice honored Nina Manning, the secretary-treasurer of New York Public Library Guild Local 1930, on March 29 at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan.
Manning was awarded the Audrey Smith-Campbell award which Local 1199 SEIU gives each year to an outstanding woman community activist and labor leader. The award is named in honor of activist Smith-Campbell, who died on the picket line during a 2008 strike for better health care and wages.
This year, the annual Women’s Month event celebrated the diverse corps of women in the labor movement and included special guests New York State Attorney General Letitia James and U.S. Congress member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — two women who made history in the 2018 midterm elections.
On receiving the award, Manning said: “I enjoy working, helping, teaching and encouraging people. I treat people the way I like would like to be treated.”
A 34-year veteran of the New York public library system, Manning graduated from the union’s inaugural class of the Women’s Leadership Academy, in February .
“Nina has strong character and she knows how to get the job done,” said Valentin Colon, president of Local 1930. “She’s known for getting people to work together to be part of the solution or asking them to step aside and not become a part of the problem.”
A longtime union activist and libraries advocate, Manning devotes her time to literacy programs and food drives at Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church. She also is active in the American Library Association, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, CLUW, the NAACP, and other organizations.
Manning credits her parents who “were both givers of love, food and encouragement. I stand on the shoulders of those who made it possible for me to reach back to help someone else along their way.”