Joseph N. Green, Jr. Lecture Series
With the restoration of the Attucks Theater, Norfolk City Councilman Paul R. Riddick sought to bring an added dimension to the contributions the venue could lend to the region. In addition to the multicultural, educational, and artistic opportunities available through the Attucks, Councilman Riddick believed a lecture series could to be an intellectual stimulant for the region’s African American community. The result was The Joseph N. Green, Jr. Lecture Series designed to serve as a forum through which distinguished African Americans, prominent in their fields, can regularly engage in a discourse and share their views on social, political, and cultural issues. The theme of the 2013 Series is “Local Roots… National Impact” and will feature two individuals from Hampton Roads who have risen to national prominence in their fields.
Dr. William Spriggs is a Professor of Economics at Howard University and Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO. He began his career in labor while in graduate school, serving as co-president of the AFT Local #3220, AFL-CIO. In 2009, Dr. Spriggs was appointed by President Barack Obama as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. Dr. Spriggs has held leadership roles with the Congressional Black Caucus, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Public Administration, the Economic Policy Institute, the National Urban League, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the National Committee for Employment Policy, among others.
Leo V. Williams, III, Major General, USMC (Ret.), is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, class of 1966. He was one of the first two African Americans from Virginia to be admitted to the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1970 with a BS degree and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He received his Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Illinois University in 1978. Major General Williams has commanded at all levels of Marine Corps command, from Battery Commander of a 120-Marine 105 mm artillery battery in Okinawa, Japan to command of a Logistics Group of 10,000 Marines located over 52 sites in the United States and Puerto Rico. When promoted to Brigadier General, Major General Williams became the third African-American to serve in that capacity. Major General Williams’ civilian career is no less impressive. He has held executive leadership roles with Ford Motor Company and Medifast Inc. and has served on numerous boards and commissions.