Director, Human and Civil Rights
National Education Association

Harry Lawson, Jr. currently serves as the Director of the Human and Civil Rights Department (HCR) in the Center for Social Justice at NEA (National Education Association). He is responsible for leading and managing a wide -range of programs; inclusive of professional development, leadership development targeted to people of color and women as well as member engagement, advocacy and activism on social and racial justice issues.

In addition, Harry serves on the leadership team responsible for NEA’s Racial Justice in Education Initiative and provides leadership internal to the organization while managing the organizations engagement with state and local affiliates.

Harry has been with NEA for 15 years and has served as an Organizational Specialist (field staff), Regional Director for NEA’s Southeast Region Office and most recently, the Associate Director of HCR. During his time, he has led representative elections campaigns, membership organizing campaigns, facilitated strategic planning and supported change initiatives in affiliates across the country.

Harry joined NEA following 3 years at the National Low-Income Housing Coalition where he served as an organizer and Field Director for the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign after being an social work intern for a year.

He also served as an educator in Montgomery County, Maryland and the District of Columbia Public Schools before enrolling in graduate school.

Harry holds a Master of social work degree with a macro focus on community organizing and systems analysis in addition to a Bachelor of Science with a major in history and minor in secondary education, both from Howard University.

Harry was born and raised in Harlem, New York City in the Sugar Hill neighborhood and has resided in Washington, DC for the past 30 years since arriving to attend Howard University.

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