• Petitioning President James McCarthy

This petition will be delivered to:

Suffolk University
President James McCarthy

Remove ADL Director Abe Foxman as Suffolk Law's 2014 Commencement Speaker

    1. Petition by

      National Lawyers Guild - Suffolk Law

Suffolk University’s recent announcement of Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Director, Mr. Abraham Foxman as the speaker at the Law School’s Commencement has not only come as a shock but has also deeply upset many students. Mr. Foxman's views on many issues offend the student conscience:

Mr. Foxman’s opposition to the United States’ recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Read more here and here and here.  

His continued support and propagation of racial profiling for the entire Muslim community in the United States.

His opposition to the construction of Park51, the Muslim community center, near the World Trade Center site.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. Reached 750 signatures
    3. Suffolk Issues a Measly Response

      “While some have disagreed with statements he has made, Mr. Foxman’s body of work is deserving of recognition. As President Obama said only weeks ago following the announcement of Mr. Foxman’s upcoming retirement from the ADL: ‘For decades, Abe Foxman has been a tireless voice against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all of its forms, always calling us to reject hatred and embrace our common humanity. It is our hope that Mr. Foxman’s personal story as a Holocaust survivor and attorney who has dedicated his life to public service will inspire our graduates as they embark on their professional careers. In the weeks to come, we will work with those who may still have concerns to find ways to engage Mr. Foxman in a dialogue on the important issues they have brought to our attention.”

    4. Featured on the National NLG's website.

      Suffolk University: Partner in Armenian Genocide Denial?

      Students at Suffolk University Law School are urging the school's president to withdraw its invitation to Armenian genocide denier Abraham Foxman to speak at their commencement and receive an honorary degree. Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League director, drew harsh public criticism in 2007 for opposing a congressional resolution acknowledging the 1915 extermination of approximately 1.5 million Armenians.

    5. Reached 500 signatures
    6. New Sample Letter

      Please see the new sample letter.

      Send it to
      James McCarthy
      Office of the President
      Suffolk University
      73 Tremont St.
      Boston, MA 02108

      jmcarthy@suffolk.edu ; president@suffolk.edu

    7. Victory for our friends at Brandeis University!

      "Universities consider it important to make a distinction between inviting a speaker who may air unpopular or provocative views that the institution does not endorse, and awarding an honorary degree, which is more akin to affirming the body of a recipient’s work."

      A good point for our campaign as well. It's not just that he is controversial, conferring an honorary JD, lessens the value of our own degree and dishonors the principles of equal justice.

      Brandeis Cancels Plan to Give Honorary Degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Critic of Islam

      Facing growing criticism, Brandeis University said Tuesday that it had reversed course and would not award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a campaigner for women's rights and a fierce critic of Islam, who has called the religion "a destructive, nihilistic cult of death."

    8. Reached 250 signatures
    9. Updated Statement

      During the past few days, the opponents and proponents of allowing Mr. Foxman to speak at Suffolk Law School's 2014 Commencement have illustrated that our school is being divided. A controversial speaker like Mr. Foxman divides the student body, which is not what a commencement speech is about. Commencement is the final moment the class of 2014 will come together before representing the university in the legal profession. Unity and inclusion are key components of a day celebrating the achievements of faculty, students, and the administration. Family and friends have waited three or four years to watch their loved ones reach this pinnacle moment. This moment should not be overshadowed by a controversial speaker whose views make individuals uncomfortable or feel unwelcome. Diversity has been a mission of Suffolk and we must maintain our commitment to fostering diversity and allowing it to flourish.

    10. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Harry Harris NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL
      • 14 days ago

      We have rockets raining down all over Israel and he's spending time worrying about what comes out of Joe Biden"s mouth.

    • David Sandage LA HONDA, CA
      • 3 months ago

      Isolating cultural groups only reinforces their differences.

    • Lance Kasparian SALEM, MA
      • 5 months ago

      Mr. Foxman and Suffolk U. have answered Hitler's question - who today remembers the Armenians? - by saying, we do, but we don't care and we have our reasons. This is smart people engineering the breakdown of fundamental human values.

    • Gaelic Neilson ANDOVER, MA
      • 5 months ago

      I AGREE with this petition that "There is no place for selective diversity and exclusionary practices at Suffolk Law. A commencement speaker should unite the student body, not divide it. For these stated reasons, we ardently demand the removal of a public figure who so passionately breaks apart our community."

    • michael severson SANTA ROSA, CA
      • 5 months ago

      Foxman's support of the Zionist state of Israel shows his support of its policy of apartheid.


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