NELACon

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President's Welcome Reception
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
6:30–8:00 p.m.

Convention participants are invited to join NELA President Patricia A. Barasch, the NELA Executive Board, and the 2012 Annual Convention Committee for an informal gathering to celebrate 27 years of employee rights advocacy, renew friendships, and make new ones. First-time Convention participants are especially encouraged to attend.

The President's Welcome Reception is generously co-sponsored by AARP Foundation Litigation.

Opening Plenary
For the opening plenary session, "Full Speed Ahead: From Inspiration To Action,” NELA is proud to honor three individuals in whose lives and stories we see the challenges and rewards of standing our ground for workers’ rights: Mary Rose Diefenderfer, John Hithon, and Kim Bobo. As plaintiffs, Ms. Diefenderfer and Mr. Hithon each pursued their cases—and justice—for over a decade before their perseverance led to significant victories for all victims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation who seek to vindicate their rights. As the founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, Ms. Bobo has dedicated herself to mobilizing communities on behalf of workers, especially workers in low wage occupations.

Keynote Address By Professor Anita F. Hill
Friday, June 22, 2012
4:15–5:00 p.m.

"We must imagine for a new generation what equality's going to be like. We also should imagine a workplace where [sexual harassment] no longer exists."

– Professor Anita F. Hill

For over two decades Professor Anita F. Hill has been a powerful voice in shaping our nation's vision of equality and justice in the workplace and beyond. With her 1991 testimony at Clarence Thomas' hearing to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Professor Hill brought sexual harassment in the workplace into the public eye and started a debate that would challenge and change the country. Her testimony was met with hostility and attacks on her character and credibility, but more enduringly, it gave many others the courage to step forward with their experiences: in the year following the hearing, sexual harassment charge filings at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rose 50%. Today, as she has been for the past twenty years, Professor Hill is focused on moving full speed ahead: "I could not be happier than I am right now because I know that testimony…was not in vain. I know the work that is being done and as I hear it I am encouraged."

Professor Hill continues to inspire the movement for equality in the 21st century as an author, speaker, commentator, attorney, and a professor of social policy, law, and women's studies at The Heller School for Public Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Her most recent entry in the discussion is a book titled Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home, published in October 2011. Professor Hill has written numerous articles on international commercial law, bankruptcy, and civil rights—all areas in which she has taught. She has given numerous presentations on commercial law as well as race and gender equality. In addition, she has appeared on several television programs, such as Face the Nation and Meet the Press, and her commentary has been published by Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe. Professor Hill is a graduate of Oklahoma State University (B.A., 1977) and the Yale University Law School (J.D., 1980).

Professor Hill will be introduced by NELA member Joseph M. Sellers.

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