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New Labor Forum Congratulates the Winner of the Student Essay Contest!

Congratulations to Alyssa Bonilla on her winning essay, “Janus, the Roman God, and the Labor Movement”!

Essay contest winner Alyssa Bonilla

New Labor Forum hosted its first Student Essay Contest in the Fall and we are happy to announce that we received three outstanding submissions from students and recent alumni. While all three submissions were excellent, we selected the piece, “Janus, the Roman God, and the Labor Movement” by Alyssa Bonilla as the winner. Bonilla’s article will appear in the May issue of the journal. Thank you to everyone who helped make the contest a success! We look forward to running it again next Fall.

From the essay:

“The Janus case pending before the Supreme Court is an important moment in the ongoing battle between labor and capital in America. Labor is anticipating the case with dread. Capital anticipates a major victory. The case is invoking familiar legal arguments such as constitutional questions, the rights of the individual and fair pay for services rendered. There is, however, another lens through which one might view this case, a symbolic lens, that may open up our collective thinking about the issues involved, clarifying the strategies needed to move forward.”

Look forward to the full piece in the May issue of the New Labor Forum!

Alyssa Bonilla, M.A. in Labor Studies, is a graduate of the Murphy Institute and lives in New York City.  Ms. Bonilla teaches at Queens College, CUNY and Empire State College, SUNY. She can be reached at alyssa[dot]bonilla[at]esc[dotedu

Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative Marks 3rd Anniversary

The Murphy Institute is proud to have been affiliated with the great work of the cooperative network of NYC. With the support of the NY City Council, the City’s Small Business Services and the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative (WCBDI) we celebrate over 180 business entities helped through this initiative. With 13 local community based or business development organizations giving services, the Murphy Institute has become a partner where training is hosted and meetings are held.

Read the third annual report here.

New Labor Forum Highlights: Jan 22nd, 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.

TNLF Winter 2018 Coverhe January 2018 issue of New Labor Forum, off press this week, grapples with perhaps the most perplexing of the 2016 election polling data: the fact that a majority of white women voters helped elect Donald J. Trump. In our feature article, Sarah Jaffe deciphers this political enigma, which will prove vital if the change in political tides apparently  underway is to become more permanent.

Certainly banners held aloft at last weekend’s massive Women’s Marches, from Sioux Falls to San Francisco and from Los Vegas to L.A., showed a rejection of the President’s racist and anti-immigrant invective, an eagerness to “grab ’em by the midterms,” and a determination that “Time’s Up” on sexual harassment from the corridors of government to the night shift and the factory floor. Current polling, cited below, indicates that some mix of these views has now become widespread among the female electorate. Also highlighted in this newsletter is a New Labor Forum-hosted debate, featuring J. Philip Thompson and Adam Hilton, concerning the distinct choices confronting progressives in and around the Democratic Party, an issue of obvious salience through the midterms and well beyond.

Subscribe here for the print issue!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Did a Majority of White Women Vote for Trump? Sarah Jaffe/ New Labor Forum
  2. White women helped carry Trump to the White House. Now they overwhelmingly favor Democrats. Poll Watch/ This Week
  3. Is Now the Time to Break with the Democrats?: A Debate- J. Phillip Thompson & Adam Hilton/ New Labor Forum
  4. What is required to build a multi-racial working-class political movement? J. Phillip Thompson & Liza Featherstone/ The Murphy Institute

Photo via flickr (cc)

Resident Leadership Academy Announced in Metro

This week, the Resident Leadership Academy, a program designed to “provide training and build leadership skills for residents interested in taking a more active role in civic life within their development and/or community” was featured in metro. The program, offered as a partnership amongst the Fund for Public Housing, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), and the Murphy Institute, will offer course credit to NYCHA residents through the Murphy Institute, developing skills, knowledge and leadership potential among NYCHA residents.

From metro:

With 326 developments and more than 400,000 residents across the city, the New York City Housing Authority serves a large number of New Yorkers, but often, public housing is overshadowed by the city’s other for-the-public facilities like transit, parks, education and art.

That’s why, as part of NextGeneration NYCHA, the agency is launching its Resident Leadership Academy this month to empower its future from within. Continue reading Resident Leadership Academy Announced in Metro

Ai-jen Poo at the Golden Globes

Ai-jen Poo was the first recipient of the Murphy Institute’s “Rising Leader Award” at the Diversity Scholarship night. And this year, she was at the Golden Globes. From Ai-jen Poo:

On New Year’s Day, 300 women who work in film, television and theater launched the #TimesUp campaign against sexual harassment in solidarity with farmworkers, domestic workers, and countless women across all industries who are survivors of abuse and demanding change.

Their courage is contagious. And the unity among women across industries is unstoppable.  From Hollywood to our own neighborhoods, it’s time for all work to be dignified and safe–no exceptions.

Ai-jen attended the Golden Globe Awards with Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep to shine the spotlight on domestic workers and people who are particularly vulnerable to abuse and often excluded from protections or recourse. Along with other movement leaders representing women in vulnerable actresses, she wore black and attended to “share the same message: Time’s up on abuse. Time’s up on exploitation. Time’s up on silence.”

New Labor Forum Highlights: Jan 8th, 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.

Given the breakneck pace of developments in our national politics, we turn attention in this installment of the newsletter to important developments in South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa − the heroic anti-apartheid union leader who metamorphosed as a business tycoon during the Mandela presidency – has now been elected to lead the African National Congress. This makes it all but certain he’ll become the next President of South Africa, given the ANC’s continued (though somewhat depleted) electoral dominance.

Here we offer a telling description, by New Labor Forum author Rajendra Chetty, of the role Ramaphosa played in the tragic Marikana massacre in which 34 striking miners were killed, 78 wounded, and 259 arrested at the Lonmin-owned platinum mine on August 16, 2012. We also offer a statistical context for understanding the conditions confronting poor and working-class South Africans today. Among the most urgent of facts are the current soaring rates of unemployment, particularly among young South Africans, which some scholars peg at nearly 50 percent.  This has contributed mightily to the snail’s pace of economic improvement for black South Africans since the country’s independence, pictured in a chart below. We end with a set of policy recommendations by Kuben Naidoo, who insists South Africa’s leaders must confront the reality that “economic growth” does not lead to decreased inequality, and may exacerbate it. His recommendations grapple with a number of issues that merit the attention of U.S. activists and policy makers, given our own history of racialized oppression and decades of burgeoning inequality.

Table of Contents

  1. The Marikana Massacre: Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in South Africa: Rajendra Chetty/ New Labor Forum
  2. Charts on South Africa’s continued social and economic inequality 
  3. It doesn’t end with Piketty – five policies that could reduce inequality: Kuben Naidoo/ Mail & Guardian

Photo by GovernmentZA via flickr