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Philip J. Jennings is general secretary of UNI Global Union, the global trade union for the services sector, with 900 unions in 150 countries. His mission is to Break Through for workers to allow them to unionise and collectively bargain with the conviction that their rights are an essential part of human rights.

The Konvitz Lecture is named for the late Professor Milton Konvitz, a founding ILR faculty member. Konvitz taught at Cornell for nearly 30 years, and inspired thousands of students with “American Ideals,” a course for which he was widely known at the university. A pioneer in the teaching of civil rights and civil liberties and a leading authority on constitutional and labor law, Konvitz encouraged his students to explore the ideals embedded in the U.S. Constitution and how they applied to daily life. In honor of his work, Joan Jacobs '54 and Irwin Jacobs '56 founded the Konvitz lecture series in 2006. Joan Jacobs graduated from the College of Human Ecology, and Irwin Jacobs graduated from Cornell with a degree in electrical engineering.

The lecture is being co-sponsored by the Worker Institute at Cornell as part of the annual Union Days events.