April 03, 2014

Anne Friedman: Higher Education Member of the Year

Source: NYSUT Communications

Anne Friedman
Professional Staff Congress

Anne Friedman's entire professional life - from selection of academic field, to the choice of community college activism, to leadership in the union - is rooted in her commitment to higher education for the vulnerable, to higher education as a civil right.

The PSC vice president for community colleges, Friedman comes from a union family.  By the time she entered college in the late 1960s, she was already active in the civil rights movement, the anti-nuclear movement and the women's movement.  An undergraduate at City College from 1967-71, she participated in the historic - and successful - fight for an admissions policy that would open the college to New York's growing African-American and Latino populations.

In 1986, Friedman joined the faculty of the Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she continues today as full professor. In 1995, in response to Mayor Giuliani's attacks on the university and the community colleges, Friedman co-founded a new Community College Conference to defend the rights of the city's poorest populations to a college education.

In 2000, she ran for union office in the PSC and has been in union office ever since. She is a key member of the negotiating committee, working on four contracts. She is a member of the union's anti-racism committee, its faculty workload committee, its open access committee and, of course, the leadership of her own chapter, where her influence has been tactful, nuanced and profound.

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