1199SEIU President George Gresham’s Statement on the Passing of Harry Belafonte

April 25, 2023

Contact: Bryn Lloyd-Bollard | bryn.lloydbollard@1199.org | 732-606-5949

Screen Shot 2023-04-25 at 4.39.17 PM.pngStatement of 1199SEIU President George Gresham, on the passing of Harry Belafonte:

“1199SEIU healthcare workers mourn the passing of our beloved Mr. B. Harry Belafonte was a pioneering artist, social justice warrior, and healthcare champion. His lifelong commitment to advancing freedom and equality—often risking his own career and livelihood in the process—is testament to his character and courage. I cannot think of a social justice movement in my lifetime that didn’t have Mr. B behind it in some way.

“As a child, I recall sitting with my family watching Dr. King’s funeral on television, Mr. B by Coretta Scott King’s side, and my father teaching me about his commitment to the civil rights cause. That I would decades later be able to call Harry Belafonte my friend has been one of the great privileges of my life. He was an amazing man, a man of history, and his legacy will live on through the millions of people he has inspired to fight for a better world.”


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 450,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.