This fall Dean Oubré created the Ernest C. Dillard Sr. Endowed Scholarship in Labor Studies in honor of her grandfather, Ernest Dillard. This recognition not only celebrates Ernest’s 100th birthday, but also highlights the profound impact he has made throughout the civil rights and labor movements. As a United Auto Workers activist and a leader of the NAACP Detroit branch, Ernest fought to improve the rights of workers with diverse backgrounds. Even at 100 years old, he continues to be a leading voice of working people everywhere.
“My grandfather and my grandmother, Jessie Mae Dillard, who passed away in October 1990, were my inspiration,” Dean Oubré says. “Without even an elementary school education, Ernie went on to become an executive in the United Auto Workers and was at the inaugurations of both President Lyndon Johnson and President Jimmy Carter. For his 100th birthday last January, President Obama sent a special proclamation honoring him, as did the City of Los Angeles and Congresswoman Karen Bass.”
The Dillard scholarship will support students in the Labor and Employment Studies Program. Professor John Logan, chair of Labor Studies, says the scholarship “will enable students to spend more time on their academic work and more time gaining invaluable work experience through interesting internships, both of which will help them in the job market after graduation.”