Category Archives: Murphy News

Introducing Fall 2015 NY Union Semester Students

The Fall semester is upon us, and we’re gearing up to welcome yet another Union Semester cohort! Introducing the Fall 2015 class….

For information on joining the class of Spring 2016, find us at www.unionsemester.org.

 

siddika
Siddika Degia
Originally from India, Siddika has lived in New York City since the age of seven. She is a junior at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She is studying politics, labor studies, and social justice issues. She is attending the NY Union Semester to gain experience and a better understanding about the labor movement.

Siddika is interning at the Transport Workers Union Local 100 in the Education department.

erica

Erica Dodt
Erica Dodt was born and raised in the Midwest. She created her own undergraduate major in social justice, focusing on pedagogy, law, and gender at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She is a movement educator and organizer who is interested in the Union Semester to hone her skills at synthesizing research, analysis, reflection, and community self-determination.

Erica is interning at the Writers Guild of America East, in the organizing department.

casey

Casey Garrison
My name is Casey Garrison and I am a junior anthropology major at Hendrix College. I was born in Southern California and grew up in a small town just south of Little Rock, Arkansas. My interests include educational anthropology, issues in urban poverty, and social justice. I am attending Union Semester in order to broaden my experiences with applied anthropology and further my understanding of labor unions and the fight for social justice in New York.

Casey is interning at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 3.

robin

Robin Beck
After growing up in Syracuse and Rochester, Robin Beck has lived in Ohio, Newark, and NYC. He has years of experience working in food service and retail, and has been active in the labor and Palestine solidarity movements.

Robin in interning with the Transport Workers Union Local 100 in the Political Action department.

budlong

Marisa Budlong
Marisa is from the East Bay Area, but spent the last four years in the Greater Boston studying Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Sociology at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, she restarted the Brandeis Labor Coalition and was part of a group of feminist activists who created Brandeis Students Against Sexual Violence. Marisa wants to engage in carving out spaces for growth and empowerment within hierarchical systems, especially concerning the livelihood and agency of womyn. She is hopeful that Union Semester will allow her to continue this work and nuance her understanding of how the labor movement intersects in people’s lives.

Marisa is interning with the United Federation of Teachers in the Political Action department.

emilyallenEmily Allen
I was born and raised in upstate New York and Pennsylvania. I moved to New York City when I was 17 and have lived and worked in the city for the past 8 years. I have a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy and Political Science and plan to attend law school next year.

Emily in interning at the Laborer’s International Union of North America, Local 79 in the Research department.

pranavPranav Pendurthi
Pranav graduated from NYU in 2014 with a major in Philosophy.  He is interested in the history of the labor movement, and exploring how it can be used as a structural means by which to counteract inequity.

Pranav is interning at the New York State Nurses Association with the Community Affairs department.

antioco

Alexandra Antioco
Alexandra is a Brooklyn Native, with a B.A in Political Science. She has a passion for social justice and joined Union Semester to get a better understanding of Labor Unions and workers rights as well as to become a better organizer.
Alexandra is interning at the Service Employees International Union Local 1199 Training and Upgrading Fund.
amin
Mohammad Amin
Mohammad is an immigrant from Bangladesh. He graduated from UCLA with a B.Sc in Math/Econ in 2015. He wants to become a union researcher. He also has deep passion for worker rights in third world countries.

 

Mohammad is interning with 32BJ, Service Employees International Union in the Contracts and Grievances Center.

Murphy Prof. Mimi Abramovitz Recognized by NASW

The NASW Foundation has selected Murphy Institute Professor Mimi Abramovitz to become a member of the NASW Social Work Pioneers. In addition to teaching at Murphy, Dr. Abramovitz is the Bertha Capen Reynolds Professor of Social Policy, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and a faculty member at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Dr. Abramovitz is being honored for her “exceptional contribution to the social work profession and its ability to meet the needs of all people.”  NASW’s Newly elected Pioneers will be recognized during NASW’s 60th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening October 23, 2015 in Washington D.C.

Congratulations, Dr. Abramovitz!

Crime, Punishment and the Black Community: the Untold Story of the Rockefeller Drug Laws

Next month marks the launch of Murphy Professor Michael Javen Fortner’s eye-opening new book, Black Silent Majority: the Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment. A controversial and important account of the role that some in the African-American community played in encouraging punitive policies during the 1970s, in particular the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the book asks vital questions about agency, history and how we can strive for real peace and justice in an era of mass incarceration.

Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on Fortner and Black Silent Majority (Defending Their Homes: How crime-terrorized African-Americans helped spur mass incarceration, by Marc Parry, Aug 3rd, 2015). In it, Parry describes Fortner’s engagement with Michelle Alexander’s explosive 2010 book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness:

What vexed Fortner was that The New Jim Crow seemed to be two different books. One did a powerful job showing how mass incarceration undermines black communities and perpetuates racial inequality. The other — and this was the vexing part — advanced a political theory about how we got here. That history stressed the resilience of white supremacy. First came slavery; when slavery ended, a white backlash brought Jim Crow segregation; when Jim Crow crumbled, a backlash to the civil-rights movement spawned yet another caste system, mass incarceration. Each time, writes Alexander, an associate professor of law at Ohio State University, proponents of racial hierarchy achieved their goals “largely by appealing to the racism and vulnerability of lower-class whites.” Continue reading Crime, Punishment and the Black Community: the Untold Story of the Rockefeller Drug Laws

Murphy Institute Featured in Labor Press

The Murphy Institute has had a long and storied past, from its roots in 1984 as a collaboration between CUNY and NYC municipal unions to where it stands today: en route to becoming its own freestanding school within CUNY.

In an article by Marc Bussinch in Labor Press last week entitled The Murphy Institute Survives Bloomberg Era; Pursuing Autonomy within CUNY , Murphy Director Greg Mantsios describes existing Murphy programs and where things might be headed:

A resolution passed at the New York State AFL-CIO convention calls on the university and public officials to reconstitute the Murphy into its own school and there’s been a major push to do that. Close to two dozen labor leaders have written letters to public officials and the CUNY Chancellor urging them to do this. The Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie, has been pushing hard, as has been Senator Dianne Savino. The legislature allocated $1.5 M in this year’s budget to establish a new school for labor. Hopefully, two or three years from now we’ll be our own school with our own degree programs and hiring our own faculty and controlling our own budget, policy and procedures.

He continues:

[O]ur faculty is engaged in research. We want to start a research rewards program that extends beyond our faculty and offers financial awards to scholars and practitioners outside of our own orbit who are engaged in strategic thinking about the future of the labor movement. In addition, we issue an annual report on union density that looks at national, state and New York City figures and breaks down union density by geography, occupation, race, gender, profession, which unions find very useful for organizing drives. And I think we can play an important role in attracting social justice activists to the labor movement. There are some things we can’t control—like Supreme Court decisions or the economy—but we can control how well we organize ourselves. So we’re trying to provide activists with the skills they need to better fight the good fight whether at the workplace or in the public policy arena.

Read the full article at Labor Press.

ALR Project and China’s Mingde Institute at Collective Labor Disputes Conference

This post was originally featured at alrexchange.org.

China’s Mingde Institute of Labor Relations and CUNY’s Advancing the Field of Labor Relations (ALR) program collaborated for the second time to present a Comparative Collective Labor Disputes Conference between the U.S. and China in Changsha in April 2015. More than 40 Chinese leading scholars, local union officials, governmental arbitrators, and labor attorneys attended the conference. Many active figures in China’s labor relations field participated as speakers and discussants, including professors from Peking University, Wuhan University, Shanghai Business and Finance, Capital University of Business and Economics, China Institute of Industrial Relations, Nanjing University, Sun Yat-san University, and researchers from the local MOHRSS arbitration department from Hunan, Shanghai, Guizhou, etc. Representatives from ILO also commented at the conference.

Representing the U.S. was Diane Frey, Senior Research Consultant at CUNY ALR, who spoke on labor organizing in the U.S., and Richard Fincher, Fellow and Instructor at the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University, who presented on the U.S. arbitration and mediation system.

You can read more (in Chinese) at:

http://www.jttp.cn/a/report/info/2015/0428/6799.html