James Green, professor emeritus of history at UMass Boston, was honored with a proclamation from Mayor Marty Walsh declaring November 5 “James Green Day” in the city of Boston. Green’s many accomplishments include founding the Labor Studies program at UMass Boston, founding the Labor Resource Center, and being named a Fulbright Scholar. Green was also recognized for his academic work, his many published books and scholarly articles, as well as his commitment to Boston’s labor communities.
“Green has greatly exceeded traditional academic success, actively dedicating his life to on-the-ground social justice, whether it was. . . bringing attention to striking coal miners in West Virginia as a young journalist, or leading workshops for workers seeking to better organize, he is always a champion for fairness and equality,” reads the proclamation.
“It’s an extraordinary honor, and quite unexpected,” said Green, who was amazed by all the praise for his work. The proclamation was presented at the relaunch of the Labor Studies program and the Labor Resource Center at UMass Boston. The center provides education and information to advance the interests of workers and their organizations. An interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in labor studies will soon be offered by the College of Liberal Arts.
“Jim’s most lasting contribution is the establishment of the Labor Resource Center that has made UMass Boston a national leader in worker education and research on work and worker’s history,” said Susan Moir, director of the Labor Resource Center.
Green was drawn to labor history as a graduate student, and the stories of activists like Eugene Debs and Joe Hill. Not content to work solely within academic communities, Green seeks to apply history to present-day labor struggles. Green says he is pleased that the work he started nearly 30 years ago will continue at UMass Boston.
“What is a more important theme in human history than work?” said Green.