A. Philip Randolph Institute

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The APRI was also involved in Tobacco industry scandals
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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Tobacco Industry Support

While the APRI was an important institution in the civil rights movement, the good name of the Institute was also regularly subverted by some of the key members of its staff to serve their own financial interests. In the period 1965 to 1999 the Tobacco Institute and the cigarette industry were supported in their efforts to sell cigarettes with low excise (and few health warnings or other restrictions) by executive members of the A Philip Randolph Institute. These executives were regularly paid considerable sums for exerting their influence on the general union movement -- both within the labor movement itself, and with Democrat politicians. The most obvious supporter was the 1960s President of the APRI, Norman Hill.

These documents came to light with the tobacco industry's Master Settlement Agreement signed under pressure from President Clinton. See the documents


"To A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, APRl's co-founders, the fight for workers' rights and civil rights were inseparable.

"Randolph (1889-1979) was the greatest black labor leader in American history and the father of the modern American civil rights movement. Rustin (1912-1987), a leading civil rights and labor activist and strategist, was the chief organizer of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Randolph's greatest protege.

"Randolph and Rustin forged an alliance between the civil rights movement and the labor movement. They recognized that blacks and working people of all colors share the same goals: political and social freedom and economic justice.

"This Black-Labor Alliance helped the civil rights movement achieve one of its greatest victories - passage of the Voting Rights Act, which removed the last remaining legal harriers to broad black political participation.

"Inspired by this success, Randolph and Rustin founded APRI in 1968 to continue the struggle for social, political and economic justice for all working Americans.

"Today, APRI is led by President Clayola Brown whose vision and energy has sparked a new beginning for our organization and for the movement as a whole."[1]

Board Members

  • Velma Murphy Hill is a founding national board member of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and a veteran labor and civil rights leader. [2]




Web: http://www.apri.org

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