All posts by Murphy Institute

Commonwise Seeks Graduate-Level Summer Intern (Bronx, NY)

Commonwise is building a sustainable, equitable, and democratic Bronx economy that creates shared wealth and ownership for low-income people of color. ​We are doing this by developing a network of diverse partners and community enterprises—known as the Bronx Community Enterprise Network—which currently includes four major projects:

  • A Policy and Planning Lab, a center for economic democracy planning and policy development—by, with, and for the Bronx
  • The BronXchange, an online marketplace that connects Bronx institutions and nonprofits with high-road, local businesses in order to localize purchasing and build community wealth
  • The Bronx Innovation Factory is digital fabrication center and business incubator focused on expanding local production capacity in the Bronx to support advanced manufacturing businesses with shared ownership models
  • An Economic Democracy Learning Center, which prepares current and future partners to participate and lead the network; cultivates a culture rooted in economic democracy principles; and advances the collective understanding and knowledge of economic democracy based on experiences in the Bronx and from around the world

Job Title​: Policy Intern

Background: ​Commonwise is seeking a Policy intern ​with strong research, policy development, and stakeholder engagement skills to work as part of a team supporting a cohort of New York elected officials of color from the Bronx and Brooklyn, who are 2018 MIT Community Innovators Lab (MIT CoLab) Mel King Community Fellows. The Policy intern will work in close coordination with MIT CoLab staff and Mel King Community Fellows’ support staff in the Bronx and Brooklyn

Learn more here.

Represent.Us and Represent.Us Education Fund Hiring for Multiple Positions

About Represent.Us

Represent.Us is the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign. We bring conservatives and progressives together to fix America’s corrupt political system.
Our small team is a carefully curated mix of seasoned political campaigners, policy wonks, advertising experts, designers, and engineers. We’re not a startup, but we’ve got startup DNA: we’re nimble, constantly learning and iterating, and know when it’s time to celebrate a Wednesday afternoon with root beer floats. We constantly push ourselves to push the envelope – to ignore “industry standards” and set a new standard.
We’ve been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, FOX, CBS, and hundreds of other national and local media outlets.
Represent.Us is based in Northampton, MA, and has satellite offices in San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC. Come work with us!
Opportunities in Northampton, MA
  • We’re looking for an HR Manager to nurture our talent pipeline for state campaign hires, manage the full lifecycle recruiting process, build strong interpersonal relationships at all levels of our organization, and administer day-to-day human resources functions while ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  • We’re hiring a Staff Researcher to be our point person for in-house research for our national, post-partisan campaign to unrig America’s political system. As an integral part of our team, the Staff Researcher will drive research and analysis of data and information related to policy, political, communications, organizing, development, and operations projects.
Opportunities in San Francisco, CA and Northampton, MA

Video: The Future of Capitalism and the Future of Work

On May 4th, the Murphy Institute hosted a daylong conference to explore the ways in which structural changes in the labor market, skyrocketing inequality, and rapid technological innovation have sparked renewed debate and speculation about the future of capitalism and the future of work itself. Featuring leading scholars, journalists and activists’ perspectives on these issues, the day engaged three key debates:

  1. The impact of technological innovation, especially robots and artificial intelligence, on workers and on the labor market
  2. The vast increase in capacity for surveillance and data collection by high-tech firms and its implications for daily life as well as for the workplace
  3. The impact of the ecological crisis and the political failure to address it for the future of capitalism and the future of work.

Check out all three conversations below!

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Video: Reconstructing Economic Development for People and Planet: Stories of Just Economic Democracy

On Friday, May 11th,  in collaboration with Democracy @ Work New York, the Murphy Institute hosted a fascinating panel exploring how progressive local innovations stand to solve long-standing, seemingly intractable issues around poverty and inequality. Panelists included:

  • Michael Menser, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College, Earth and Environmental Science and Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center, Chair of the Board of The Participatory Budgeting Project, and author of We Decide! Theories and Cases in Participatory Democracy
  • Gabriela Alvarez, Chef and founder of Liberation Cuisine, a catering company dedicated to preparing meals collectively with sustainable ingredients and practices. Alvarez recently took her passion for healing and organizing with food to Puerto Rico to help with relief and rebuilding efforts
  • Kali Akuno, co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, a network of cooperatives and worker-owned enterprises and the author of Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Yorman Nunez, Program Manager at Community Innovators Lab MIT and coordinator of Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative

Miss the panel or want to experience it again? Watch it here:

In New York City worker cooperatives, participatory budgeting, and community land trusts are on the policy platform of the City Council’s progressive caucus and elected officials in the democratic party are pushing legislation for employee and worker ownership at the state and federal levels. With greater visibility and support from the public sector some believe that these pilots and experiments for neighborhoods to drive wealth creation and capture and create equitable economic opportunities can reach into broad-based and mainstream policy.

There is an opening here to expand the horizon of what is seen as possible for genuine equitable urban economic development, and its relationship to labor, communities and the political economy. In short, we can change the conversation from mostly pushing for greater accountability and transparency in the existing economic development order, to a conversation about what should come next and what policies and institutions would be a part of getting us there.


New Labor Forum Highlights: May 14th, 2018

The New Labor Forum has a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

The May 2018 issue of New Labor Forum is out. On the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the journal features an article by Reuel Schiller measuring the magnitude of King’s loss in relation to the dissolution of the Poor People’s Movement he helped birth and the subsequent suspension in large-scale, multiracial organizing for economic justice.

Today may mark the beginning of the end of that long hiatus. As we send this newsletter off, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, launches a nation-wide event including nonviolent moral direct actions in over 30 state capitals, and a series of similar actions that will take place over the next 40 days. This follows two years of meetings in communities throughout the country which led to a report, entitled “The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America 50 Years After the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Poverty, the War Economy/Militarism and Our National Morality.” Those conversations in turn resulted in a Declaration of Fundamental Rights and Poor People’s Moral Agenda. We include here a profile of the campaign’s co-founder, the Reverend William Barber, by Jelani Cobb in the current issue of The New Yorker, as well as a report on the campaign that ran over NPR earlier this morning.

As the Poor People’s Campaign seeks to end the poverty that plagues approximately 40 million Americans, we would all do well to reassess the War on Poverty, declared by President Lyndon Johnson four years before Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.  In a 2014 article for New Labor Forum, Frances Fox Piven argues that, contrary to accepted wisdom, that the War on Poverty was a largely victorious engagement which mobilized pressure from below reinforced by the Democratic Party’s need to shore up its dwindling political reach in the North, producing a measurable reduction in poverty over the next twenty years. Yet now, Piven notes, not only is poverty back, but the faces of poverty have changed. The most telling difference is that, when Michael Harrington wrote The Other America and Lyndon Johnson took up arms, poverty was thought to afflict people cut off from employment in the mainstream economy, like older people no longer working or those living in Appalachia or the country’s urban ghettos.  Today poverty has become, as it once was back in the 19th century, a function of exploitation at work (not mostly exclusion from work) so that somewhere between 30 and 40 million people make up what we call “the working poor.” And it is this changed nature of poverty that the new Poor People’s Campaign explicitly intends to address.

Table of Contents

  1. Mourning King: The Civil Rights Movement and the Fight for Economic Justice/ Reuel Schiller, New Labor Forum
  2. William Barber Takes on Poverty and Race in the Age of Trump/ Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker
  3. 50 Years Later, Reviving King’s Poor People’s Campaign/ Brakkton Booker, NPR Radio
  4. The Changing Faces of Poverty and Inequality: How We Once Came to Fight a War on Poverty/ Frances Fox Piven,  New Labor Forum
  5. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Portfolio/ JustSeeds Artists’ Cooperative
  6. Scholarship for Diversity in Labor Awards & Reception/ Joseph S. Murphy Institute

Photo credit: Department of the Interior. National Park Service(II). Region VI, National Capital Region. (1916 – 1933), Photographer – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (Public Domain)

YouthBuild USA Seeks Digital Communications Manager (Somerville, MA)


This position will lead YouthBuild USA’s external digital communications initiatives including day-to-day content creation for the organization’s social media channels, website, and email communications. The Manager of Digital Communications will develop and execute strategic campaigns and digital initiatives to attract new followers and build brand awareness for YouthBuild on a global level. The successful candidate will require a strong knowledge of social media analytics, digital design proficiencies and innovative best practices.

The Manager of Digital Communications is a full-time position and will report to the Senior Director of Communications. This individual will work closely with various departments, as well as local YouthBuild sites, corporate partners and funders to enhance YouthBuild’s visibility and advance its mission.


  • Maps out a comprehensive social media marketing plan to engage current followers and expand our audiences across all platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, Snapchat and YouTube).
  • Manages social reporting and analytics for all social channels, while tracking and evaluating the overall performance of channels to develop more effective campaigns.
  • Designs and creates powerful and engaging social media content with on-brand imagery and videos.
  • Develops, updates and manages content for website by using back-end CMS system.
  • Assists with ideation, planning and execution of photography, video and multimedia content; works with communications team to develop a library of high quality photos, videos and other digital assets that focus on youth stories of transformation and success.
  • Monitors trends in social media tools, applications, channels, design and strategy.
  • Assists in developing social media guidelines, policies and procedures.
  • Establishes a cohesive process for gathering and filtering social media content.
  • Increases internal employees’ enthusiasm for and presence on personal social media channels to amplify YouthBuild’s posts and brand recognition.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations or related field.
  • 3-5 years of relevant experience.


  • Creative thinker with strong writing skills, a distinctive voice, and enthusiasm for introducing new ideas.
  • Excellent communication and organization skills across multiple stakeholders.
  • Extensive experience building and maintaining a robust follower base across all social media platforms.
  • Proficiency in Adobe programs (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.).
  • Experience in photography and video production is a plus.
  • Ability to deliver accurate, thorough and consistent work with acute attention to detail in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required of personnel so classified.

Please submit your cover letter and resume for consideration by Friday, May 18, 2018.