James Green Memorial Forum

Headshot James GreenJames Green Memorial Forum honors a labor historian.

James Robert Green (November 4, 1944 – June 23, 2016) was an American historian, author, and labor activist. He was Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Green's interest in radicalism and his experiences in West Virginia led him to become involved in the American labor movement in the 1980s. In 1981, he created a labor studies major at UMass-Boston, and started teaching leadership training workshops for unions such as the United Mine Workers of America. In 1995, Green founded the Labor Resource Center at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

In 1987, in addition to continuing on the faculty at UMass-Boston, Green was named a lecturer at the Harvard Trade Union Program and continued to teach for the program until his death in 2016. The HTUP participants always found his labor tour of Boston one of the highlights of the program. 

Green's interest in labor history and involvement in the American labor movement has led him to become involved with a number of documentary films.

book cover: The Devil Is Here in These Hills by James GreenIn 1989, Green was supporting coal miners who had struck the Pittston Coal Group. Documentary film-maker Barbara Kopple, commissioned to create a centennial history of the United Mine Workers, was there filming the strike and employed Green as a consultant. The film became Out of Darkness: The Mine Workers' Story. He received an associate producer credit on the picture.

In 1992 and 1993, Green worked as a research director and consultant on "The Great Depression," an award-winning seven-part documentary series produced by Blackside, Inc. which aired on PBS. Afterward, he served on the community advisory board of local Boston public television station, WGBH, from 1993 to 1994.

From 1995 to 1996, Green served as a consultant to the film The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers. The film later aired on PBS.

In 2014 the producers of the PBS series American Experience secured the rights to Green's forthcoming book (Publication Date: Feb. 2015) on the West Virginia Mine Wars. The book, The Devil is Here in these Hills, will be the basis of documentary film produced by The Film Posse in Boston. The program aired nationwide in 2016.

See also: HTUP

Green Forum Events

2020 Feb 10

James Green Memorial Forum “Public Servants: Race, Gender and the Roots of Public Employee Unionism”


Monday, February 10, 2020, 5:30pm to 7:00pm


Wasserstein Hall, Room 2036 Milstein East A, Harvard Law School

We ar2020 green forum flyere proud to present this year's James Green Memorial Forum speaker: 
William P. Jones, Professor of History, University of Minnesota 

Open to the Public

Sponsored by the Harvard Trade Union Program,
Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School


2019 Feb 11

James Green Forum -“Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South: Organizing Workers in the Southern USA”


Monday, February 11, 2019, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


WCC 2019 Milstein West AB, Harvard Law School

James Green Forum 2019Speakers: Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, Professor, West Virginia University and Ken Fones-Wolf, Professor, Stuart and Joyce Robbins Chair, West Virginia University
Commenter: Sister Marie-Therese Browne, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky

Join us for the 2019 James Green Memorial Forum feat. Ken and Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, both of whom will discuss the challenges of organizing workers in the postwar South including highlights from their recent book “Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South: White Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie” (University of Illinois Press).

Followed by commentary from Sister Marie-Thérèse Browne aka “Sister Tess,” who has mobilized religious communities in labor struggles throughout the U.S. South.

James Green Memorial Forum honors labor historian James Green (1944-2016).


2018 Jan 18

JAMES GREEN MEMORIAL FORUM: "New Forms to Settle Old Scores? Worker Centers and Their Recent Trajectories"


Thursday, January 18, 2018, 4:00pm to 6:00pm


Austin Hall, Room 111 Harvard Law School 1515 Mass. Ave., Cambridge

We are proud to present this year's James Green Memorial Forum speaker: Janice Fine, Research and Strategy Director at the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO), Rutgers University 
and Natalicia Tracy, Executive Director, Brazilian Worker Center

Open to the Public

Sponsored by the Harvard Trade Union Program,
Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School

Forum Flyer: [Download PDF]

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