On Saturday, Dec. 11, the UCLA Labor Center and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor will host an in-person ceremony to name the center’s building in honor of civil and labor rights icon, and 20-year UCLA labor studies faculty member, the Rev. James Lawson Jr. The program will include remarks from local and state legislative and community leaders, music and an unveiling of a sign bearing Lawson’s name.

Earlier this year, California’s 2021-22 budget included $15 million to renovate and rame the labor center’s historic MacArthur Park building, which sits in the heart of Los Angeles.

The building will be named the UCLA James Lawson Jr. Worker Justice Center — the first building ever to be named in honor of Lawson, who will be present at age 93.

The UCLA Labor Center is a unit of the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

EVENT DATE: Saturday, Dec 11, 2021

TIME: 10 a.m.

LOCATION: 675 S. Park View St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

OTHER DETAILS: To ensure we are able to celebrate safely, all guests must be vaccinated against COVID-19, wear a mask at all times, and register to attend the event.

Interviews with Labor Center/IRLE staff prior to the event may be scheduled in the days before the event, email Citlalli Chávez-Nava at citlallichavez@ucla.edu.


  • Rev. James Lawson Jr., civil and labor rights leader, UCLA labor studies faculty member
  • Anthony Rendon, assembly speaker, California
  • Eric Garcetti, mayor, Los Angeles
  • Gil Cedillo, Los Angeles city councilmember, District 1
  • Betty Yee, California state controller
  • Ron Herrera, president, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor
  • Art Pulaski, president, California Federation of Labor
  • Maria Elena Durazo, California state senator, 24th district
  • Reggie Jones-Sawyer, California assemblymember, 59th district
  • Miguel Santiago, California assemblymember, 53rd district
  • Steve Bradford, California state senator, 35th district 
  • Gene Block, UCLA Chancellor
  • John Perez, chair, University of California Board of Regents
  • Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County supervisor, District 1
  • Holly Mitchell, Los Angeles County supervisor, District 2
  • Kent Wong, director, UCLA Labor Center
  • Darnell Hunt, dean, Division of Social Sciences in the UCLA College


  • Bishop Grant Hagiya, president, college of bishops, western jurisdiction, United Methodist Church
  • Rabbi Steven Jacobs, central conference of American rabbis