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National Labor College Announces 2012 Commencement
Rev. James Lawson to Speak;
Wilma B. Liebman to Receive Honorary Degree

National Labor College (NLC) is pleased to announce that it will hold its Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, June 23, at 10 a.m. in Solidarity Hall in the Kirkland Conference Center. The ceremony will include an address to graduates by renowned civil rights activist Reverend James Lawson.

Headshot of James Lawson

Source: PBS.org

The Rev. Lawson will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, and Wilma B Liebman will receive a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who also serves as Chairman of NLC’s Board of Trustees, will present degrees to the graduates who represent more than 25 labor unions.

“We are honored to have Rev. Lawson and Ms. Liebman joining us at NLC’s Commencement. Whether by peacefully combating racism or strengthening the hand of workers by enforcing labor laws, our distinguished guests have each spent their careers working towards social justice,” said Dr. Paula E. Peinovich, President of National Labor College.

Reverend James Lawson
Lawson has spent his life as an ardent advocate of nonviolent resistance within the American Civil Rights Movement and for causes including racial equality, immigrant rights, fair pay, and peace in the Middle East. Lawson is also a labor activist, having served as chairman of the strike committee for the black sanitation workers during their 1968 Memphis strike. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called Lawson, “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.”

Photo of Wilma B Liebman

Photo by Rick Reinhard, Courtesy of GW University

Wilma B. Liebman
As the former Chairwoman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Liebman held a steadfast commitment to enforcing labor laws during her 14-year tenure with the NLRB. She is the third longest serving member in the Board’s 78-year history, and only the second woman to hold the position of Chairman. Before coming to the NLRB, Liebman served as Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and as counsel to two international labor organizations.

More information about commencement is available on our website.