National Labor College Workers Memorial

"Pray for the dead, but fight like hell for the living."
- Mother Jones


Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, who died in 1930 just a couple of miles away from the National Labor College campus, captured the spirit of workplace safety activism with these few passionate words. The National Labor College hopes to continue that spirit in a new memorial to be erected on the college grounds.

On this quiet spot, where union members learn for the future of our movement, we are building a place to pause and remember the lives of fallen brothers and sisters.  When complete, the memorial will be comprised of thousands of simple bricks, each engraved with the name of a fallen one. 

Through their contributions, individuals and groups alike will be given the opportunity to support a permanent remembrance in this way but also help the movement “fight for the living” by supporting the college’s programs for the future.

For a contribution of $125, a supporter may name a fallen brother or sister.  American workers (immigrant or not) may be memorialized if they died on the job or from work-related dangers.  Those who died in the struggle to build their union, or those like Mother Jones who made important contributions (large or small) to the labor movement can also be remembered on a specially-prepared adjacent spot.  Each brick will bear the name of the deceased, the date of death and the name of their union or occupation.  The college will keep track of the location of a given brick, and publish a directory of the names.

We also encourage groups to sponsor the slate pavers that border the memorial with a contribution of $2,000 to commemorate historic or significant events – like the Triangle Fire or the Sago Mine disaster.  In addition to this, granite benches run through sections of the memorial providing special opportunities for whole categories or occupations of fallen workers to be remembered.  These sections, meant for those who gave their lives working in danger, such as miners, those exposed to asbestos, or others whose occupations endanger their lives or their health, are available for $10,000.

Contributions will support the cost of erecting, maintaining and administering the memorial.  A portion of these funds will also support the annual Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremony, held in April at the National Labor College.  Remaining funds will provide general support to the college’s work, including important Health and Safety programs.

To participate, you may contribute online or mail the NLC Workers Memorial Request form along with your check or money order made out to National Labor College at:

NLC Workers Memorial * 10000 New Hampshire Avenue * Silver Spring, MD 20903