Matt Losak, 301-431-5453

For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 3, 2008


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Event Honors Black and Women's History Months

Silver Spring, MD - The National Labor College hosted a rich and lively symposium on the action agenda of women and African-Americans and the role of labor held last Friday as part of the College's celebration of Black and Women's history months. More than 50 activists and guests attended the event.

"There is no venue more appropriate for a forum and discussion such as this one than the only accredited college in the world dedicated to labor and justice," said Fred Mason, president of the Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO and member of the College's Board of Trustees, who hosted the event.

Fred Mason Delivers Opening Remarks at the Symposium



The symposium included presentations by the Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery,  American Civil Rights Movement icon and founder of the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda,  Eleanor Smeal, leader of the women's rights movement and president of the Feminist Majority Foundation,  Stephen Coyle, Esq., former presidential advisor and the architect of an innovative collaboration uniting labor, inner-city communities and the private development sector, President/CEO of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust and the Honorable Valerie Ervin,  the first African-American woman ever elected to Maryland's governing Council of Montgomery County, where the NLC is located, who served as moderator. Ervin is an undergraduate alumna of the National Labor College and a graduate alumna of the University of Baltimore.   

"The emerging consensus from the symposium's dialogue was that the united forces of women's rights, civil rights and the workers' rights are a powerful force for creating and advancing a progressive agenda which will find a receptive audience in the current environment for change," said Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich, who designed and produced the event for the NLC and is a member of the faculty.



Scenes from the Symposium on Civil Rights, Women and Labor.

College officials noted with gratitude the Ford Foundation for its support of this event.  

Established as a training center by AFL-CIO in 1969 to strengthen union member education and organizing skills, the NLC is now the nation's only accredited higher education institution devoted exclusively to educating union leaders, members and activists. The NLC became a degree granting college in 1997. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent, regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.