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Black Steward Spotlight: Camille Brown, Republic Airways

Date

Introduce yourself to us. 

My name is Camille Brown. I am married with four grown children. I am from Brooklyn, NY. 

What does it mean to you to be a Teamster? 

To me, it means being a part of an organization that truly cares for the members. 

Who do you work for now? 

I work for Republic Airways.

How long have you worked for them? 

It will be two years in April of this year.

How long have you been a Teamster? 

 I have been a Teamster since April 2022.

What made you want to be a steward? 

I love helping people; especially my fellow Flight Attendants.

Was there a time where you or your coworkers stood up to racism at work?

A few years ago while working in an office position, I interviewed for a supervisory role and was offered the position. There were co-workers that didn’t look like me, who were not happy that I was offered the position. I kept my head held high, took the position and did well until I entered into the airline industry. 

How can Black Teamsters use the union as a way to fight discrimination on the job? 

I think education and awareness is important; working together as a team and showing unity should be the goal.

Where does your drive and fight come from? 

I have witnessed others being treated unfairly; I have witnessed others who did not know what to do and were ready to give up. That is what drives and motivates me to fight. 

Why do you fight for others, despite their race, religious belief, political views, sexual orientation, age, etc.? 

I have experienced discrimination. It’s not a good feeling. I believe everyone should be treated equally and fairly.

How has your background and heritage shaped your experiences and perspectives in the workplace? 

I have learned to be aware of what could go on in the workplace. I do my best to get along with everyone I work with.

Why is it important we celebrate Black History Month? 

I believe Black History Month is an opportunity to understand Black histories, going beyond the stories of racism and spotlighting Black achievement. 

Who are some Black leaders that have inspired you? 

Rosa Parks stood up for herself and in turn began the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King had a vision for everyone to be treated equally and fought for that vision.

Are there any significant contributions made by Black individuals in your industry that you believe deserve more recognition and awareness? 

Ruth Carol Taylor and Margaret Grant were some of the first Black Flight Attendants. I believe that they paved the way for Flight Attendants of color. 

Are there any specific books, movies, or other media that you would recommend to further educate ourselves about Black history and culture? 

The movies “Hidden Figures” and “Selma”. For books, “History of the African American People” by James Norton and “Becoming” by Michelle Obama.

How can we, as colleagues, provide support and solidarity with you and other black professionals beyond Black History Month?

I think talking and networking among each other is important.  Feeling like we have a voice and can be heard is important.

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