Democracy: The Never Ending Battle

Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa is an inspiration to all who struggle for freedom. Please join UMUC President Susan C. Aldridge, faculty, alumni, staff, and students to hear this extraordinary man discuss "Democracy: The Never-Ending Battle." 


7 p.m. in Auditorium

Following Lecture in Ballroom

3501 University Boulevard East
Adelphi, MD 20783


Lech Walesa examines the subject of democracy with the eyes of a worker, of one who began his career as an electrician and whose early experience was marked by the harsh realities of a nation devastated by war and communist oppression.

Walesa's involvement in worker's rights started in 1970, but the turning point in his career came in August 1980, when the employees of the Gdansk shipyard went on strike. Walesa, who had already been fired from the shipyard for his labor activities, climbed over the perimeter wall to join and ultimately lead the occupation strike. That strike led to strikes throughout Poland and finally a short–lived recognition of a free labor union Solidarity. The struggle for the rights of Polish workers begun in Gdansk created a chain reaction that would change the face of Eastern Europe. Despite a declaration of martial law and communist attempts to outlaw the union, Solidarity would not be crushed. With the support of fellow Pole Pope John Paul II and the United States, Solidarity, with Walesa as its leader, continued underground. In 1988, another round of strikes forced the communist regime once again to negotiate with the workers, eventually leading to free elections.

Walesa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 and became Poland's first noncommunist president in 1990. Today he heads the Lech Walesa Institute, which is dedicated to advancing the ideals of democracy and free market reform throughout Eastern Europe and the rest of the world. He and his wife Danuta have been married 36 years and have eight children.


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Call for Entries
Deadline: June 14, 2016

UMUC invites artists in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to enter.

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Opening Reception
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Bus Trip Date
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Join the UMUC Arts Program for a daylong bus trip to art museums and galleries in Newark, New Jersey.

Register Now

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Opening Reception
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U.S. District Courthouse
6500 Cherrywood Lane
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