PITTSBURGH—Dr. Jacqueline Cavalier, professor of History at Community College of Allegheny County’s Allegheny Campus, received the Pennsylvania Labor History Society’s Mother Jones Award in recognition of her lifetime commitment to advancing the interests of the working class. Cavalier was presented with the award at the Pennsylvania Labor History Society’s 2018 annual awards dinner last fall.
Cavalier, vice-president, American Federation of Teachers Local 2067, was one of four labor activists in Pennsylvania recognized at the banquet for their lifelong interest in preserving the history of working men and women and their commitment to advancing the interests of working families.
In 1902, Mary Harris Jones was called “the most dangerous woman in America” for her success in organizing mine workers and their families. The inscription on Cavalier’s award describes her connection to Jones and the labor movement:
“Professor of History at CCAC Allegheny Campus, Vice-President AFT Local 2067 and true union sister of Mother Mary Harris Jones, Jacqui Cavalier is a passionate teacher, dedicated scholar and effective union leader. Longtime defender of affordable public education, she challenges and nurtures community college students to learn and appreciate the richness and complexity of American and Pittsburgh regional history. Her classes celebrate diversity, democracy and social solidarity.”
Cavalier was honored and humbled to receive the award, saying, “So many worthy and deserving people have been recipients of this award; I never in a million years expected to be nominated for such an honor.”
In addition to imparting knowledge and understanding of labor history to her students, Cavalier has worked with the Pennsylvania Labor History Society to create programming designed to inform and educate the college and wider community. In September, she co-chaired the 2018 PLHS Conference titled “Vietnam: A Working Class War.” The conference, held at CCAC, featured panel discussions and presentations regarding Vietnam War activism and related topics with the goal of providing an opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds to learn from and dialogue with those whose lives were profoundly impacted by the war. Cavalier hopes it will become an annual event.