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IFT President offers condolences upon passing of union leader Margaret Blackshere

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

IFT President Dan Montgomery’s statement of condolences following the passing of Margaret Blackshere, union leader:

"I was saddened and humbled to learn of the passing of Margaret Blackshere and, on behalf of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, offer my deepest condolences to her family and friends. She got her start in the labor movement at IFT and made a difference at every level, growing from member to leader to vice president before she went on to make history as the first woman president of the Illinois AFL-CIO.  "From her start organizing teachers in Madison, Ill., to her leadership at the state and national levels, Margaret’s efforts to make our state and country better and fairer for everyone were inspirational and quite necessary. She was a tireless advocate for working people and a shining example of what a union leader can be. We at the IFT are proud to have known her and to continue the work she believed in."

A former president of the Madison Federation of Teachers Local 743 and IFT Vice-President, Margaret also served as IL AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and was elected the first female president in 2000 serving two terms. 

A Special Order of Business was presented to the 2007 IFT Convention recognizing Margaret Blackshere as the first recipient of the IFT Lifetime Labor Achievement award for her contributions to labor and the human rights movement.

An obituary can be found here.

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