David Huang knew early on as an undergrad at Industrial and Labor Relations School that he had chosen the right path.
“There was something about collective action that had always attracted me,” said Huang, one of five recipients of a 2018 Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies recently announced by the Major League Baseball Players Trust. “It was the idea of equalizing the balance of power within the workplace that drew me in.”
Through engagements on the history of labor studies with his professors, joining various student clubs—ones that emphasized a shared passion for the field as their focal points—and internships at both the Coalition for Economic Justice and Cornell Labor and Employment Law Programs Huang had attained, at the conclusion of his tenure at Cornell, he was ready to take on his next challenge.
Not long after graduation, with a hunger for real–world experience, Huang moved to Washington, D.C., where he spent time as a commissioner for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
He said the opportunity to work as a neutral party allowed him to analyze the debate over labor relations from both ends of the spectrum; something that helped him zero in on which side of the labor aisle he wanted to sit.
“Ultimately, that experience prompted me to go to law school in order to become an advocate so one day I can personally represent workers,” said Huang.
Not only did his time in Washington help him identify the next step he would take in his career, it also ignited a new love for the local team—the Washington Nationals.
“Growing up I moved around a lot so I never had the opportunity to build a strong allegiance with a team,” he said. “When I moved to D.C. after college, although not being the winningest team at the time, I began to follow the Nationals and they became my team.”
Huang believes baseball embodies the idea that “there’s always next year.”
Today, as he continues working toward his goals of earning his law degree and one day advocating on behalf of workers and their rights, Huang finds himself attending Stanford Law School, nearly 3,000 miles away from Nationals Park.
Not only was Huang prepared to face the heavy workload law school brings, he knew its robust financial commitment would be daunting too. That’s why he pursued a Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies and gained an appreciation for Weiner’s sense of fairness and equality.
“Mr. Weiner’s commitment to the association and working to represent the workers really reflected what I want to do with my law degree,” said Huang. “No matter what type of workplace you are in—whether it’s Major League Baseball or a factory—I think everyone deserves dignity, respect and a level autonomy in dictating how you want your place of work to function.”
“It’s pretty cool that the MLBPA offers this kind of scholarship,” said Huang. “I really appreciate it—it’s going to help me a lot and ultimately help make my goals a lot more realistic.”
To be eligible for the Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies, individuals must be Graduate or Law Students enrolled in accredited educational institutions in the United States or Canada and must have a demonstrated interest and aspire to a career working in the labor movement and on behalf of workers’ rights.
To receive an award, eligible candidates must meet a combination of criteria including a superior academic record, a demonstrated commitment to the labor movement, a strong recommendation from an academic or a labor/worker’s rights practitioner, and an excellent display of written and oral communication skills.
Preference also is given to those who can demonstrate financial need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) scores or otherwise.
The scholarship application for the 2018 Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies will be posted here in July 2018.
To read Aaron Bibb’s scholarship feature, click here
To read Gabriel Frumkin’s scholarship feature, click here
To read Benjamin Mantle’s scholarship feature, click here
To read Joaquin Recinos’ scholarship feature, click here