Convention Highlights

President's Welcome Reception
Wednesday, June 25
6:30–8:00 p.m.

Convention participants are invited to join NELA President David L. Lee, the NELA Executive Board, and the 2014 Annual Convention Committee for an informal gathering to celebrate 29 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 and the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association.

Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association

Welcome Address From Capitol Hill By Senator Elizabeth Warren
Thursday, June 26, 2014
8:30 a.m.

Senator Elizabeth Warren will welcome Convention participants to Boston from Capitol Hill. A fearless consumer advocate who has made her life’s work the fight for middle class families, Senator Warren was elected to the United States Senate on November 6, 2012, by the people of Massachusetts. She is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts on bankruptcy and the financial pressures facing middle class families, and the Boston Globe has called her "the plainspoken voice of people getting crushed by so many predatory lenders and under regulated banks." Senator Warren is widely credited for the original thinking, political courage, and relentless persistence that led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. President Obama asked her to set up the new agency to hold Wall Street banks and other financial institutions accountable, and to protect consumers from financial tricks and traps often hidden in mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products.

Opening Plenary:
Celebrating The Civil Rights Act Of 1964: Courage | Challenge | Change

Thursday, June 26, 2014
9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Our opening plenary session, “Celebrating The Civil Rights Act Of 1964: Courage | Challenge | Change,” honors the plaintiffs and advocates in four landmark Title VII cases: McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White, and Sprint/United Management Company v. Mendelsohn. We will salute Percy Green, Joseph Oncale, Sheila White Parrish, and Ellen Mendelsohn, who brought their strength to bear on building the legacy of Title VII and whose stories remind us of the work that remains to be done.

2014 Annual Convention Keynote Speaker

Annual Luncheon With The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Retired)
Thursday, June 26, 2014
12:15-1:45 p.m..

NELA is privileged to welcome The Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones as our Keynote Speaker for Blazing The Trail: Courage | Challenge | Change. Judge Jones’ distinguished career of civil service and civil rights activism has included positions as the Executive Director of the Fair Employment Practices Commission of the City of Youngstown, Ohio; as Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland; as Assistant General Counsel to President Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, also known as the Kerner Commission; and 10 years as general counsel of the NAACP. In 1979 Judge Jones was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by President Jimmy Carter, and he retired from the court in 2002. Judge Jones also played an important role in furthering the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. The drafters of South Africa’s new constitution and laws consulted him, and he conferred with Nelson Mandela upon Mandela’s release from 27 years of imprisonment.

Tobias 5K Run

Friday, June 27
7:00 a.m.

Join the early risers for the Tobias 5K Run. Meet NELA Founder Paul H. Tobias in the hotel lobby and take a run along the historic Boston waterfront before the morning's plenary.

Equality & Justice: Joining The Call To Action

NELA’s 2014 Gala Fundraiser
Friday, June 27, 2014
8:00–11:30 p.m.

Honoring The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

NELA’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends into Friday night with Equality & Justice: Joining The Call To Action. Our Annual Gala Fundraiser brings together employee rights advocates, allies, and friends for a festive evening to celebrate our collective accomplishments as we re-energize for another year of advancing equality and justice in the American workplace. Join NELA’s call to action as we honor the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), one of the pillars of the Civil Rights Movement. Proceeds from the Gala fuel NELA’s Amicus, Judicial Nominations, and Legislative & Public Policy Programs.

President Barack Obama called LDF "the best civil rights law firm in American history," and we are proud to recognize LDF’s enduring legacy and ongoing fight to secure fairness and equal opportunity for African-Americans in all aspects of our society. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has always been transformative: to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive America. NELA member Barry Goldstein, who worked at LDF for eighteen years, including several years as the Director of its Washington, DC office, will introduce our honoree. Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s President and Director-Counsel, will accept the award.

In addition to ushering in landmark civil rights legislation, the year 1964 witnessed notable milestones in music, including the arrival in the United States of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the first number-one hit for The Supremes, and the release of Sam Cooke’s civil rights anthem, A Change Is Gonna Come. Stay with us after the awards ceremony for a musical journey back in time as we enjoy an evening of dancing, socializing, and fun.

We welcome your support of Equality & Justice: Joining The Call To Action.

Program Guide Ad

NELA members and supporters are invited to place a greeting or advertisement in the 2014 Annual Convention Program Guide. Greetings and advertisements must be received by NELA no later than Friday, May 9, 2014.

Program Guide Advertisement Form